Nerdy Birdy: A Review & Giveaway

When I first opened Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds, I was not (yet) reading it with the eye of a writer.  I was way too smitten with the bird on the front cover.  I mean, look at this guy:

Nerdy Birdy is cute, but he is most definitely not cool.  He is no good at sports or singing or hunting.  As a matter of fact, the only things Nerdy Birdy is good at are reading, playing video games, and reading about video games.  He is quite lonely… until he finds a whole slew of other birds just like him!

This book will delight children.  The illustrations by Matt Davies are top-notch.  (Be sure to read the illustrations closely for some subtle nods to Star Wars, Angry Birds, and Hello Kitty.)  The language is so kid-friendly and is sure to produce giggles in any reader. As a matter of fact, my own daughters were laughing out loud at the dialogue. Most important though – and what sealed my love for this book – is the message.  You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.

After I read Nerdy Birdy multiple times just for the sheer pleasure of it, I read it again with a writer’s eye. If you are looking to spice up your units on narrative writing, Nerdy Birdy will become one of your go-to mentor texts in writing workshop.  Here are five of my favorite noticings:

  1. The book starts with a character introduction: “This is Nerdy Birdy.  His glasses are too big.  His wings are too small.  He’s allergic to birdseed.”
  2. It is a narrative text, but incorporates features typically found in informational text such as labels or numbered lists:

    Nerdy Birdy Interior Spread 2

    An example of labels. Used with permission from

  3. The book includes dialogue, but it is written as part of the illustration rather than incorporated in the text.
  4. Short sentence fragments are used to emphasize a point: “Eagles, cardinals, and robins don’t care about reading. Or video games.”
  5. The lead (see #1) is repeated later in the book when Nerdy Birdy meets his friends: “Their glasses were too big.  Their wings were too small.  At least half of them had birdseed allergies.”

You will want Nerdy Birdy as part of your classroom library in the fall.  I promise, your students will love it.


  • This giveaway is for a copy of Nerdy Birdy.  Many thanks to MacMillan Publishers for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Nerdy Birdy, please leave a comment about this post by Tuesday, June 7th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Friday, June 10th.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, my contact at MacMillan Publishers will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – (Nerdy Birdy). Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Comments are now closed. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this post. Fran De La Rosa’s commenter number was chosen using a random number generator so she’ll receive a copy of Nerdy Birdy. Here’s what she wrote:

I am only sad that this is our last day! This would definitely be my next read aloud. Thanks for introducing–it will be my first summer reading treat (for my own enjoyment).