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The True Story of Stellina    by Matteo Pericoli order for
True Story of Stellina
by Matteo Pericoli
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The True Story of Stellina is about a very lucky little baby bird (a small finch) that Matteo Pericoli's wife Holly heard cheeping in Manhattan 'on the corner of 46th and Third ... while cars where rushing by'. Hard to imagine hearing that tiny cheep from that tinier throat in the middle of one of the busiest cities on the planet!

That little finch had fallen from her nest. Holly took Stellina home with her, worked out how to feed her, and carried her along when she traveled on the subway to her office, or went to the dance studio. What makes this heartwarming picture book stand out is that its author/artist takes us into the little bird's mind, repeating regularly - 'Or maybe she was wondering: "And now? What's going to happen now?"' Pericolli shows how inevitable it was that Holly and Stellina grew to love one another. Stellina grew, and learned how to fly. She sang and she 'lived to be loved so much' by all who knew her, for eight years.

I highly recommend The True Story of Stellina as a charming tale that encourages children's empathy, and makes clear how easily small creatures can creep into receptive human hearts and nestle there.

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