Birds on Wishbone Street cover

By Suzanne Del Rizzo

Birds on Wishbone Street

A simple act of neighborly kindness and a bird that needs their aid helps former refugee Sami settle into his new community with new-found friend Moe

Moe’s neighbors on Wishbone Street come from all over the world, and she’s excited to meet the new boy who just arrived from Syria. Sami isn’t quite ready to talk about his past, but he loves birds just as much as Moe does. And who wouldn’t have fun in a parkette full of packing snow? When the children discover a female cardinal stunned by the cold, Sami uses his experience taking care of pigeons in Syria to help rescue the bird—an incident that helps Sami to feel more at home.

In Birds on Wishbone Street, author/illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo demonstrates the power of an act of kindness, telling a story about finding home and making friends in new places. Illustrated with her signature polymer clay art, the story revisits characters from Del Rizzo’s New York Times Notable My Beautiful Birds and reminds us that we’re all more similar than we are different.

Available In


Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77278-219-6
List Price: $22.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 10.00 x 9.00 inches / 25.4 x 22.86cm
Pages: 40

Publication date: November 23, 2021

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 34

About this book

Awards and Honours

  • 2022 49th Shelf Top Grade Winter List (Short-listed) (Canada)
  • 2022 IODE Jean Throop Book Award Winner (Winner) (Canada)
  • 2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens (Commended) (Canada)


Praise for Birds on Wishbone Street

2022 IODE Jean Throop Book Award Winner

2022 Bank Street “Best Children’s Books of the Year” selection

2022 49th Shelf Top Grade Winter List Selection

2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection

★ STARRED REVIEW “Del Rizzo illustrates with elaborate clay modeling combined with other media; the three-dimensional look ignites interest and gives the pictures a special warmth. The story centers care for others and nature as well as focusing on people’s shared humanity.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Textural scenes created with polymer clay and acrylic makes details pop almost tangibly, presenting a street populated with an inclusive cast of varying ability, age, background, and skin tone. A gentle, bird-centered tale of community care.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rizzo’s illustrations are made with polymer clay and paint, achieving a realistic variety of skin tones and a vibrant, three-dimensional quality….The story is loving and gently paced, with the two children coming together to rescue a cardinal we have already seen in several pictures, each sacrificing a treasure to do it.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“[A] heartwarming story that brings forth the importance of simple things in life, such as treating one another with kindness and embracing the treasures that nature has to offer….The story, itself, is beautiful, but the immaculately detailed illustrations are worthy of their own praise.”—CM Magazine

“Del Rizzo’s unique art adds dimension to the book’s warm, welcoming neighborhood scenes….[A] bighearted book that will leave readers eager to discover the many treasures that new friendships hold.”—BookPage

“[A] beautifully illustrated book that shows how different people can live together and get along….The illustrations in this book are very interesting. They have a sense of realism in them that other illustrations in other books do not have, from their bright colors, to the way the angles don’t necessarily always look directly at people…”—YA Books Central

“This uplifting story will resonate with young readers, especially those who are new to Canada…. Not only are the fall and winter scenes within this book filled with a myriad of delightful details, but one can almost feel the rich textures of what is being portrayed on its pages.”—Canadian Children’s Book News

“[C]hock-a-block with vivid and complex illustrations that delight the eye through her use of textured polymer clay (resembles plasticine), acrylic glaze and other mixed media.  And when readers reach the end of the story of Moe and Sami there is more to come with the added treat of illustrated instructions on how to make bird suet treats and winter roosting pockets; a sure way to encourage young readers to also get their hands dirty!”—Oakville News

“A heart-warming story about kindness, inclusion and belonging, by the creator of My Beautiful Birds.”—Sherylbooks

“In Birds on Wishbone Street, Suzanne Del Rizzo honours her own family and those of all immigrants to Canada, and upholds the idea that communities are based on an appreciation for our differences and acknowledgement of our commonalities.”—CanLit for Little Canadians

“[A] beautiful story of people coming from different cultures…. Illustrated in clay and mixed media, the glorious art is a joy to explore. The book works on many different levels and even offers instructions on how to make your own winter bird treats.”—The International Educator

“We love the community feel of this story. It wraps you in a warm blanket of kindness…. [A] story that obviously come from the heart and extends a hand to readers.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“I love the plasticine illustrations in this book, particularly the snowflakes.”—Book Time

“The illustrations, made using polymer clay and acrylics, will have readers in awe of the details, the ever-changing perspectives, and the wonders of the season…This is a truly wonderful story about friendship, community and being kind.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

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Additional Resources

Teaching Guide

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