A bird’s gotta do what a bird’s gotta do. And sometimes those bird stories need to be told.

Local author Barbara Reaume Sandre took her first crack at a children’s book in 2014 and the result was Borealis Press’ Pete: A True Story, documenting the story of when a baby grackle fell out of the sky and into the family pool.

The story is told through words and photographs rather than short phrases and drawings like most children’s books. The language is still easy to understand, but the use of non-Seussical language give the book of level of intelligence and treats its young readers with dignity and respect.

The photographs bring the story to real life and help document the young bird’s stay at his temporary foster home and make-shift medical facility. The book also features some cute illustrations by Karen Bannister Rosie, most notably on the cover, but the use of actual photos really sets this one apart.

It begins with a soaked Pete receiving special care and attention during the early part of his stay and ends with a beautiful, healthy grackle slowly making his way back into the wilderness, touching the hearts of the family and readers alike. The interactions with family dog CJ are quite cute, as evident in the curious cover photo.

The world needs a few more feathered friends like Pete and a lot more families like Barbara’s. In the meantime, we can all share the wonderful local story of Pete: A True Story.

Barbara has spent 25 years doing genealogical research on her family, which has resulted in two books about her family: “René”, as well as ” . . . And His Son Robert”. She resides in Windsor with her husband Richard and is a retired teacher.

The book is available at Borealis Press, Indigo and Amazon, as well as Barbara’s gift shop Great Presentations, in LaSalle.

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