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by Mary Ann Kelley

Albert by Donna Jo Napoli

Every day Albert sticks his hand out the window of his apartment to check the weather. Every day he decides it's too cold, too hot, too wet, too breezy, and goes back to sitting at his table, drinking tomato juice, doing card tricks, or listening to baseball games on the radio. Until one day when he works his hand out through the grillwork over his window--plop! A cardinal drops a twig in his palm. Before he knows it, Albert is stranded, holding a brand new nest in his hand. The days go by, eggs are laid, the papa cardinal starts feeding berries to Albert, and, inevitably, chicks hatch. Meanwhile, Albert is slowly developing a different take on life. His previously protected world opens up as he witnesses the highs and lows of nature's course.

In this odd little story, award-winning young adult novelist Donna Jo Napoli (Zel, Spinners, etc.) takes her first stab at writing a picture book. It's quirky, it's whimsical... It's a little perplexing. The moral, apparently, is that we need to seize life by the lapels, take the good with the bad, not hide our heads underground. But this message may apply more strongly to adults, especially as the protagonist himself is a young man. Still, children will love the idea of a bird building its nest in someone's hand. With colored pencils, Jim LaMarche creates luminous full-page illustrations with charming details and intriguing angles. (Ages 5 to 8) (

Author: Donna Jo Napoli

Website for Donna Jo Napoli

Other books by Donna Jo Napoli

Illustrator: Jim LaMarche

Website for Jim LaMarche

Other books by Jim LaMarche

Topics from the book:

Visit each topic page for downloads, lessons, etc. specific to that topic.

Online Units and Resources for Albert

Looking for a curriculum that makes learning fun? You'll find it in Time4Learning's PreK-12 grade online homeschool curriculum.

Bird Diagram Printable
Create a bird puzzle with this bird diagram printable.

Golden Bean Cakes Recipe
From Asian Online

Candy Bird Nests
You can make these cute little candy nests as a fun go-along for Albert.

Cardinal Coloring Page
From Kidzone.

Fried Bean Cake

Waves of Radios
Cool lesson activity for learning about radios and their history on (you need to register to see this link)

Author Profile - Donna Jo Napoli
From Teen Reads

Why are we featuring this book?

Albert is a book featured in Five in a Row, a literature-based unit study curriculum. Many families use FIAR for all but the grammar/reading and math, and others use it in conjunction with other resources. Above is information about the author and illustrator, story summaries, and links to lesson plans and websites that are great go-alongs for Albert. Please note that these resources are meant to complement, not replace, the Five in a Row units. The Five in a Row volumes are inexpensive and well worth the investment.

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