When the Storks Came Home
Isabella Tree and Alexandra Finkeldey
This is a charming, fictionalized retelling of the successful reintroduction of the white stork at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex, a UK native bird that has been brought back from extinction.
Herein we meet eight year old Beanie, a bird lover, who when she has a new baby brother, is curious to see on some of the baby cards, a bird that she’s never seen before. This bird is the white stork and encouraged by her mother, Beanie asks her friend Andy who works at the nature reserve to tell her about the storks. He tells her about their unfortunate disappearance from the UK on account of them being hunted for food.
Upset and angry, Beanie becomes passionate about encouraging the White Storks back. She does some research, makes a discovery and then with the dedicated help of lots of the village people who help with fundraising,
she eventually succeeds in her mission to provide a new home for some storks from Poland.
That’s not quite the end of this lovely story, but it does end happily and shows how one determined girl can really make a difference. Alexandra Finkeldey’s colour pencil artwork is superb and helps to highlight Beanie’s love of and engagement with the natural world. The book ends with a factual account of the White Stork Project.