Old Pearl

S. & S./Atheneum. Jun. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534462694.
K-Gr 2–Theo feeds the birds regularly, giving special attention to the one with a raggedy wing. Naming her Pearl after his grandmother, he protects the bird, both to allow it to eat and to keep it safe from other animals. Theo realizes he considers the bird his own, and Grandma Pearl helps him create a new home for the creature—a place to play, a place to sleep, a place to share their “apples with peanut butter.” Theo wakes one morning and little Pearl does not. As Theo’s memories of Pearl turn “from tears to smiles,” he is able to say goodbye. Digital collage scenes in charcoal pencil and watercolor reveal Theo and his grandma, who are Black, when they are at home, in the park, or in the car while he learns to understand the needs of a new family member.
VERDICT With a note on how to approach injured animals and animal care referencing information from the Audubon Society and the Humane Society, this recommended general purchase recognizes the social emotional learning present in young readers’ growing awareness of animal needs in the wild and also the necessary time for all children to take in recovery for the loss of pets or loved ones.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing