• Heathcote Elementary School

    December 2013

    Book of the Month:

    Calvin Can’t Fly

    The Story of a Bookworm Birdie

    By Jennifer Berne




     Dear Heathcote Families,

    Last year I was invited to be a “Mystery Reader” in Ms. Onofri’s class.  This is the story I chose.  The students insisted that it be a book of the month and here we are one year later getting ready to explore Calvin Can’t Fly together.  Calvin was born under the eaves of an old barn with his three brothers, four sisters, and sixty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-two cousins.  Calvin may be one of many, but he is certainly different from the rest.  While the other little starlings learn to swoop and hover and fly figure eights, Calvin buries his beak in books hurt by taunts of “nerdy birdie” and “geeky beaky”.  In the library his mind soars, taking him places that his wings never could.  When autumn arrives, all the starlings prepare to go south–except Calvin. The flock takes off without him, but his brothers and sisters come to his aid. They tie strings around his waist and take off, towing Calvin along with them. He is excited as he sees the things he's read about, but soon he senses that they are heading into a hurricane. The starlings don't know what a hurricane is but heed his warning and take refuge in a cave. They are safe as the storm roars by. During the celebration that follows, Calvin hops and flaps in jubilation and realizes that he does know how to fly. Calvin and his family come to appreciate his book smarts, while learning that they are stronger when working together. 


    While reading this story children will learn that:

    ● Each of us is unique, with different strengths and challenges.

    ● We should celebrate our differences and what we each bring to this party.

    ● We should exercise our self-esteem muscles and notice where we and others shine.

    Here’s to finding our own inner Calvin,

    Jennifer Turetzky