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

by 5 Minutes for Books

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.

Email Author    |    Website About 5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Books is the 5 Minutes for Mom sister site devoted to reviewing books for adults -- fiction, memoir, and nonfiction -- and kids of all ages. Managed by Jennifer Donovan, other contributors are Dawn, Lauren, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Follow us @5M4B on twitter and subscribe to our feed or like us on Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 stacy September 27, 2010 at 1:07 am

Cute book!


2 Inspired Kathy September 27, 2010 at 8:25 am

Please enter me.


3 AutumH September 27, 2010 at 10:26 am

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.


4 katklaw777 September 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

We are big bird watchers around here and would luv a copy of this book, thanks.


5 Staci A September 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

My little book lover would love to read this with me! It sounds like a cute story!


6 Amber September 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Thanks for a chance to win!


7 tennille September 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm

love the illustations


8 MotherofStyle September 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm

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?


9 nan lara September 27, 2010 at 9:58 pm

thanks for the chance
nannypanpan at


10 Krista September 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm

It looks so cute! And you can never have too many books!


11 Angela W. September 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

A cute book!


12 Christine Jensen September 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

This book looks adorable, I would love to win a copy.


13 Linda Kish September 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

This sounds like a very cute story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


14 Maureen September 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

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


15 LaVonne September 28, 2010 at 11:41 am

We love books here! Thanks for the chance to win. :)


16 Jenn September 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

That does sound like an awesome book :)


17 Krystal September 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

What a cute book. I am definitely a bookworm, and so are my kiddos!


18 Kathy Stevenson September 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I would love to win this book!


19 Idaho Jill September 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm

This sounds so so cute!


20 Ruth Hill September 29, 2010 at 12:04 am

Sounds really great! Please enter me to win!


21 Anne September 29, 2010 at 1:58 am

I’m identifying pretty strongly with Calvin right now, and I haven’t even read the book yet!


22 Some Lucky Dog September 29, 2010 at 3:24 am

Thanks for all the great book giveaways!
someluckydog at gmail dot com


23 Marj M. September 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

What an awesome lesson to be found in this book. Thank you for the chance.


24 Robin September 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm

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.


25 Melissa R September 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

My son’s name is Calvin so course I have to enter this one!


26 Vickie Couturier September 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

My grandsons love to read an be read too,they would love this book,thanks



27 Agatha Brown October 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

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.


28 melissa n October 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

sounds like a cut e book!


29 Steph October 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Looks like a book both my kids would enjoy. Love the illustrations.


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