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Cover image for Not your nest!
Not your nest!
New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2019]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
"Bird builds the perfect nest, the only problem is everyone else wants to sleep in it!"-- Provided by publisher.
Added Author:


Call Number
JP Sterer

On Order



Bird is just about to put the finishing touches on her new home when she suddenly finds that her nest is already full--of someone else. So she reluctantly builds another nest. But Fox finds this new nest quite comfy, and Brush Hog loves the view from Bird's next attempt. Soon the Acacia tree is bursting with happily nested animals of all shapes and stripes--everyone except bird! But when Bird finally finds a way to evict her unwelcome guests, the animals realize their mistake and build a nest that's big enough for all of them. Well, almost...

Author Notes

Gideon Sterer is the author of Skyfishing and The Night Knights. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-A small yellow bird is proud of the beautiful nest she has designed and built all by herself in an acacia tree on the African plain. When she gathers one last element to complete her resting place, she is surprised to find that a large bird has taken up residence. The big bird won't budge, so the small one goes off to design and build another nest only to discover this one usurped by a fox. Every time the little bird builds a nest, another animal claims it. Soon a gorilla, a giraffe, an elephant, a zebra, and others decide they want to live in a nest high in the treetop. As day turns to night, the exhausted bird has had enough. The creatures come to a compromise in a conclusion that will satisfy a young audience. The first page serves as foreshadowing as all the former ground dwellers are carefully watching the original nest being built. Large, clear illustrations add even more humor to this poor bird's preposterous predicament. VERDICT An enormously amusing read-aloud choice.-Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

"If you build it, they will come" is not what an industrious little yellow bird has in mind when it constructs a cozy nest in a big tree on the savanna. Yet each time the bird diligently, proudly completes a nest, another species-a giraffe, an elephant, an entire meerkat family-stakes an improbable claim to it. "The ground is too far away and I have no wings," says an unrepentant, interloping zebra, omitting any explanation of how it got to the nest in the first place. Absurd humor and frantic frustration fit Tsurumi (Crab Cake) like a glove, and as much as readers will sympathize with the bird, it's also great fun to see how this exuberantly talented illustrator stuffs a tree full of surprising denizens. All dialogue-balloon text by Sterer (The Night Knights) nails how infuriating it can feel to be on the receiving end of unabashed selfishness ("It fits me better. You must understand," the implacable elephant says). And both creators give the protagonist just enough mettle to foreshadow a happy outcome-one in which the bird gets the highly satisfying last word. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A small yellow bird works hard to construct a comfy nest high in a tree on the African plains. When her nest is complete, she is ready for some well-deserved rest, butOh! A large hoopoe has taken over the nest and made itself at home. The hoopoe sends the small bird off with a dismissive, Thats okay. You can build another. She grudgingly does just that on a different branch. And thenHey! A fennec fox moves in. This pattern plays out seven more times until a double-page spread displays the ridiculous situation in all its glory. As the setting sun casts a golden glow on the savanna, the (preternaturally strong) tree is packed with nine nest squatters, including a crocodile, an elephant, and a mob of meerkats. Sterers to-the-point speech-bubble text is brought to life in the richly colored illustrations, making the most of the silly interactions; Tsurumis nimble, energetic lines adeptly convey the characters range of reactions. Finally, the pushed-too-far protagonist calls on a wildebeest to ram the tree (BAM!) and bring everything crashing down. Chastened, the squatters build a huge treetop aerie and dejectedly slink off into the star-filled nightbut WAIT. Theres room enough for everyone now: This is OUR nest. That would be a tidy resolution, but the story isnt finished. With everyone else asleep in the communal nest, the little bird can finally finish what she started. Forgive bad behavior, but stick to your plan. kitty Flynn (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A tiny yellow bird has just finished building a nest, but other animals in the savanna think it looks like a good place to rest, too.The design has been planned. The twigs gathered. One last leaf and the nest will be complete. But as the yellow bird flies happily toward the tree, a larger bird is already there. "You can build another," says the bully of a bird. "I guess I could" says the tiny, crestfallen bird. So plans are made again. Twigs are gathered. One last leafand suddenly there's a fennec in the nest! Each attempt to build a cozy home brings a more absurd animal to the tree. A warthog, a gorilla, an elephant, and more balance precariously as they settle in, each with their own sound reason as to why the dwelling suits them. Frustrated and exhausted, the yellow bird finally finds some powerful help to knock everyone out of the tree. But maybe there is a way to share after all. Tsurumi's expressive animals (sometimes uppity, sometimes sheepishall forming a dejected, collective slump when they realize how they've treated their friend) definitely rule the roost. Laid out in mostly double-page spreads and with wry text set entirely in speech balloons, the visual storytelling easily engages readers, perhaps most impressively as the little bird scowls with determination, perched on a wildebeest's horns as it charges directly at readers.Giggle-inducing buffoonery; but thankfully, bigger rivals don't get the last laugh. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Resembling Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back (2011) in tone but with a kinder, gentler outcome, this episode follows a small yellow bird who carefully designs and builds a succession of nests only to find each one occupied by a jackal, a warthog, a snotty giraffe ( It's yours? I don't see your name on it. Go away ), or some other, much larger resident. An arrogant zebra being the last straw (so to speak), the irritated bird at last recruits a wildebeest to ram the tree so that nests and squatters alike end up on the ground. Evidently remorseful, the animals then build a replacement nest so huge that, when invited to stay This is OUR nest they all actually fit, giving the avian architect a chance to sneak off and construct one last, cozily bird-sized home. Climaxed by a humongous BAM! that dominates two pages, the cartoon illustrations feature comically caricatured African animals, from a toothy crocodile ( We can share! ) to an entire meerkat colony. This is getting ridiculous, the bird mutters. Young readers will gleefully agree.--John Peters Copyright 2019 Booklist