Birds of a Feather:
Bowerbirds and Me
(2019) Neal Porter Books Holiday House
by Susan L. Roth



"Blending memoir and nonfiction with deep ruminations on what constitutes an artist, Roth presents parallels between her life as an illustrator and the life of an Australian bowerbird. . . . introspective readers will be satisfied by the reflective nature of the text and the behind-the-scenes look at dual artistic processes. Roth persuasively argues that "all artists…seek praise," and this ambitious hybrid demands to be seen."
-starred review, Kirkus

"Part picture-book memoir and part informational text, this fanciful ode to the creative process and the colorful courtship practices of bowerbirds will delight budding artists and bird-lovers alike. . . . The author-illustrator dives deep into how and why she makes her crafting decisions, presenting the artist's process as a fluid endeavor, equal parts cerebral and mechanical. The jewel-toned and textured collage illustrations, filled with paper cuttings as well as found objects, further demonstrate the complexity and ingenuity that each masterpiece entails. Roth and a feathered friend are featured side by side throughout the vibrant pages, and readers will want to jump in alongside them."
-starred review, Booklist

"Roth's writing is simple, direct, and inspirational. . . . The book's collages fly off the pages with color and energy, and the strands of Roth's artfully disheveled hair even resemble feathers. . . . This vibrant book will work well as a read-aloud in a group setting and as a springboard/introduction for creative-thinking and creative-art sessions."
-starred review, School Library Journal

A Bank Street Best Book of the Year - Outstanding Merit