Calvin Can’t Fly, the Story of a Bookworm Birdie

At 5 Minutes for Books, we are proud to feature books across many genres for children and adults. But this week has been all about highlighting children’s picture books.

We have been thrilled to feature some wonderful offerings, and have many giveaways that are open through 10/1. Read the anchor post to find all of the Fall Festival of Children’s Books reviews and see how you can get involved with linking up your own reviews as well.

Here’s our latest review from Dawn, with a special giveaway right here for you at 5 Minutes for Mom:

Picture books have a two-part job to do: entertain children as well as the adult reading to them. Some go above and beyond that calling by creating a story that charms the adult so much that she is the one pulling it off the bookshelf again and again. With Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie, Jennifer Berne has created just that book, and I’m a huge fan.

When Calvin is born, one starling among his several brothers and sisters (along with thousands of cousins!), he quickly discovers his greatest interest. It’s not worms or dirt or water like the other birds, but is, quite uniquely, books. His interest is so great in fact, that he opts out of the typical starling activities such as flying lessons, to instead spend time at the convenient little library in the base of a nearby tree. After teaching himself to read, he flies through books on all sorts of subjects (pun dorkily intended), finding heaps of information and wonder. Unfortunately, he suffers some name-calling from his cousins, including bookworm, which is apparently quite a horrible thing to call a bird!

When the summer season begins to fade into autumn, the other starlings begin to prepare to move on, warning Calvin that he quickly needs to learn to fly so he can join them. This leads to my favorite line in the entire book, spoken in the true bibliophile’s voice of Calvin: “Ah yes, migration. I’ve read about that.”

What will happen to Calvin when the flock migrates? I urge you to get your wings hands on a copy of Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie to find out. Book lover parents and children will delight in this warmly told story about differences and challenges, adorably illustrated by Keith Bendis.

In conjunction with our Fall Festival of Children’s Books, we’re happy to offer a giveaway of Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie.

Leave a comment here to be entered, U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only, please. Another copy will be included in our Grand Prize package as well! Winners will be announced on October 2 over at 5 Minutes for Books.

The winner of The Changing Room journal are #30Jen C. and #18 nan laura.

Our giveaway of $50 movie bucks and a copy of the first book in the Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole series is still open for another week.

Book Blogger Dawn and her entire crew are most definitely “nerdy birdies” and “bookworms.” And darn proud of it! Their tales are told at my thoughts exactly.


  1. AutumH says

    This sounds like a fabulous book and one that I would be pulling down off my shelves constantly for my little bookworms. Thank you for the opportunity.

  2. says

    Well, I am a little annoyed by all the Starlings that keep eating all the birdseed I put out for fancier looking birds like Stellar’s Jays and Pileated Woodpeckers, but maybe this book would make me rethink my current position on Starlings?

  3. Maureen says

    Hi – thanks for the great book review and recommendation. This book looks super cute. Thanks, Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  4. says

    This sounds like a really fun little book with great learning potential – oh the discussion taht could come from 1 little book. Can’t wait to read it.

  5. Agatha Brown says

    So tenderly done. I have kids at school who are so much like Calvin. The risk being left by the bus, missing lunch, phyiscal ed., just so they can finish their book.

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