Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual

December 28, 2017
Subheader: 

The main "wonder" is what kind of drugs the author/illustrator was taking.

Review: 

This book is strange and slightly disturbing in parts. It's a cross between science fiction and heavy-handed conservationalism, and also like patterned art. It's very pretty. But it purports to be a catalog of bird parts. A lot of the description of the parts of the birds like bodies and such describe birds that are now extinct and when they went extinct and why they went extinct. The bodies and other parts, especially the beaks, are painted in very garish patterned colors. They're very pretty, but unrealistic.

Apparently, the beaks, wings, and legs are separate parts from the birds in the catalog, and they look quite strange without them. At the end there are "Assembly Instructions," which is the most disturbing part of the book, where you get a bird (again, with no beak, wings, or legs, so it's just kind of got a stump coming out of its face) and the instructions are you feed it and you screw the legs on and attach the beak and wings with straps. The body is the only part that's alive. It mentions that the feathers are made out of silk, the combs are made out of rubber, and the legs have mechanical parts in them. The bird has leg openings that you can screw things into, and there's hooks and things. It's disturbing that someone would do that to a living creature.

At the end, there's troubleshooting and one possible problem is the bird disappearing for long stretches. Does the company sell cages? Of course not! Birds are supposed to fly, except when they're not. Instead, give your bird a massive tail so it can't fly very well.

It purports to be a catalog from a company founded in 2031 by someone who worked with biologists, engineers and artisans for two decades before starting the business. That means that they started in 2011 (before the book was published). The fictional company was founded because birds are dying out in various locations, so the founder says, "I know we can't replace the birds that have been lost but we can provide you with the opportunity to create an exquisite alternative: your very own bird, a work of art you'll treasure for a lifetime.

This is a very disturbing book on many levels. It's not "bad" disturbing; it's just "creepy" disturbing. It's not, like, "keep away from children at any cost" disturbing. I really don't have much else to say about this except how profoundly disturbing this book is.

Message: 

Birds are cool, and they're in danger of going extinct?

Author
Publication Year
  • 2014
Age Range
Age Range: 
10-12
Number of Pages
Number of Pages: 
30
Number of Words on Typical Page
Number of Words: 
20

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