Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story- A Book Review

Book cover for Hamburger and French Flies by Carol Kent

Title: Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story
Author and Illustrator: Carol Kent
Publisher: Friesen Press, 2022
Age Range: Grade 3-7
Location: New Brunswick

Book Summary

Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story is the incredible true story of a barn swallow who survived against harrowing odds. Knocked from its nest when only days old, Raven was taken in by a student named Carol, who was spending her summer banding sandpipers in Dorchester Cape, New Brunswick with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Too small to be separated from his parents and with barely any feathers yet to keep him warm, Carol and her mother nursed Raven to full and exceptional health.

With Raven’s best interest at heart, unbeknownst to the little swallow, Carol imparted him with survival habits. She encouraged him to fly and taught him where to uncover bugs when food was sparse. And when the time came, while it broke her heart to do so, Carol sent Raven to be with his own kind. Confused but with a new feeling stirring inside him, Raven obeyed and travelled south to survive the harsh Canadian winter.

Follow Raven’s journey in Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story to learn the remarkable tale of familial bonds and natural instinct-how there is reunion and forgiveness even in distance and time apart. And how most of all, there is new life on the other side.

Thoughts About the Book Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story by Carol Kent

I was excited to crack the cover of the debut book of Canadian author Carol Kent- Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story. The book did not disappoint!  Carol created a unique book which documents her story of rescuing a barn swallow, Raven. The book is written as a full-colour picture book, but it is very detailed and includes lots of information and fun facts.

Although the author states that the book is meant for age range 9-12, my bird-and-book-loving 4 year old loves it! He asks to have it read again and again. My 10 year old is excited to learn more about the barn swallows that we watch every spring and summer! 

I love that Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story is written by a Canadian and takes place in New Brunswick. It makes a great addition to studies about New Brunswick, the Maritimes, Canada, birds, migration, nature or threatened species. 

Carol doesn’t just tell the story of Raven but also encourages readers to get involved helping barn swallows. Carol has created an additional resources page and ideas about what you can do to help barn swallows, a threatened species. Your children will be motivated to get involved after reading all about Raven the barn swallow! 

My favourite parts of the book are the full colour illustrations of Raven and all his adventures and the Did You Know facts scattered throughout the book. I also love how the story is narrated by Raven. The story being narrated by Raven is a unique approach which really made the book special. The title is also very unique and fitting- but you’ll have to read the book to find out why! 

To learn more about the author, order her book or check back to see about her upcoming book, Raven’s White Whale Rescue, visit Carol’s website. She has created a special code for FREE SHIPPING for any blog readers who order Hamburger and French Flies: A Barn Swallow’s Story! Enter code Cdn Homeschooler on Carol’s website.

Learn more About Barn Swallows

I encourage you to see if you can find any nesting barn swallows near where you live. Where I live we love to watch barn swallows dart in and out of their nests under a traffic bridge going across the river. Cliff swallows also make the bridge their home. A field trip to find where swallows are nesting in your area would make a great addition to reading this book! Check out these excellent resources for learning more about the barn swallow: Barn Swallow from Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Ontario Species at Risk: Barn Swallow.

Do you want to learn more about Canadian birds?

Check out our post Easy Birdwatching for Kids! Or have a look at another book review, My First Book of Canadian birds.

Although I received a copy of this book for review purposes, all opinions are my own. 

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