My Beautiful Birds

My Beautiful Birds

by Suzanne Del Rizzo
  • critically-acclaimed
  • diversity
  • from-ontario
  • people-places
Selected by the New York Times as a Notable Children's Book and by the New York Public Library 'Best Books for Kids & Teens selection' for 2017, this gentle yet moving story of refugees of the Syrian civil war illuminates the ongoing crisis as it affects its children. The reality of leaving home, of refugee camps where people attempt to pick up their lives and carry on, is depicted skillfully and with imagination. The author/illustrator shares one boy's story and the birds that help on the road to his emotional healing. The hope of generations of people as they struggle to redefine home is joyfully revealed.


Suzanne Del Rizzo, author

Suzanne Del Rizzo has always loved getting her hands messy. She traded her job in scientific research for a career in children’s books, creating dimensional illustrations with polymer clay, acrylic paint, and other media.

Suzanne Del Rizzo, illustrator


  • If you’ve been wondering how to present the refugee crisis to children without losing faith in humanity, take a look at this graceful, even uplifting book - The New York Times “Bookshelf: Friendships and Fables Soar in New Children’s Books”
  • Del Rizzo…wisely focuses on what Sami sees and feels without trying to explain too much of the context, relying instead on her visuals to provide this information….These skillful and imaginative illustrations—created with Plasticine, polymer clay, and other media—give a sense of dimension, which is enhanced by striking and unusual perspectives. My Beautiful Birds is a lovely, timely book. - Quill & Quire **Starred Review**
  • Del Rizzo uses polymer clay and acrylic paint to create vibrant pictures of Sami, his family, the refugee camp, and the swirling pink-and-purple sky. Most of all, she creates birds for which every feather and color looks real. Beauty and sorrow sit side by side in this compassionate and age-appropriate depiction of contemporary refugee life. - The Horn Book Magazine


  • Winner, 2017 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature
  • Honourable Mention, 2017 Middle East Book Award: Picture Book category
  • Nominated, 2017 Cybils Award: Fiction Picture Book nominee

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Pajama Press



rights sold: Korea

rights available: World, excl. North America

Additional Information

age range: 6-10

number of pages: 32

publication date: 03/01/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: Classroom Reading Guide