Two Green Birds


Groundwood Books
Canada & United States, 2023


Francisco’s grandmother has a surprise for him. In her backyard is a guava tree, and in the tree hangs a cage containing two green birds.

They are parakeets, his grandmother says. Francisco has never seen birds so green, so beautiful. He dreams of the day when the birds will sit on his hand. They will murmur in his ear when he scratches the backs of their heads.

Every day Francisco walks to his grandmother’s house to help care for the birds.

But there is a problem. The birds will not eat.

Nothing seems to tempt them — not bread or cornmeal or oranges or collard greens from the garden. Not even special bird seed from the pet shop.

Until, finally, Francisco figures out what the green birds need to be happy. And he knows what he and his grandmother must do.


“A deeply felt episode exploring themes of family ties and empathy for wild creatures.”