Tanya, the Turtle Dove
translation by Rebecca Anders
original French by Anne-Marie Pajot
photos by Antoinette Barrère ~ Carolrhodabooks, 1969
I do have a soft spot for old photo children's books; in particular, those that feature birds. One of two dozen or so Animal Friends Books with charming names: Winslow the Hamster, Spring the Tree Frog, Curly the Piglet, Tippy the Fox Terrier and so on and so on...
This one features Tanya, the lovable, dovable housepet of an adorably-French brother and sister pair. Tanya likes to swoop down to the breakfast table and cause loads of fun-loving trouble.
"Greedy bird," says Marc as he shoos Tanya off the breakfast table. "You think you can have our breakfast as well as your own!"
Tanya doesn't care how grumbly Marc gets in the morning. She likes to beg extra food from the children. And she also like to curl her pink feet around the cool edge of the juice jug, something mother is always scolding her for doing.
Tanya is a wonder. She feeds and bathes and snuggles and spends the summers outdoors in her aviary and even hatches a brood of chicks. She's the only turtledove in the world who will sip orange juice with them at breakfast. The book closes with some handy dandy nonfiction facts about doves. It seriously makes me look forward to the day when my little ornithologist is ready to hand raise a bird and let it live free in his room. Hey, Steven Spielberg did it.
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