I was thrilled when Tracy Ahrens contacted us to review "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight," because I know that proceeds from her book help nine animal welfare organizations. I really love it when authors give back to animals in need.
"Sammy Sparrow's First Flight" (ages 2-8) is about a young bird who wants to fly. His parents know that his wings are still too weak, though, so they tell him he can't fly yet. After they fall asleep, Sammy decides to try flying despite what his parents said. He ends up falling into a bush and finds out the world is a lot bigger and scarier from the ground. A kind owl gives Sammy a lift back home where he falls asleep snuggled up to his parents.
This is such a sweet story with beautiful illustrations. It's absolutely perfect for young children. In fact, I'm thinking about sending a copy to my sister's two little boys so she can read it to them at bedtime (they aren't old enough to read on their own yet). I think they would really love it!
Tray Aherns actually came up with the story 20 years ago when she was in college during a two-week long break from school. She says it was inspired by her childhood memories of caring for baby sparrows that had fallen out of a multi-room birdhouse in her neighbor's yard.
Aherns created the Sammy Shelter Project in order to help animals in need. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight," go to nine Illinois animal welfare organizations. Purchasers are able to choose which organization they'd like to help when they purchase the book through the book's site.
Sammy's Shelter Project
I'd like to tell you a little about each shelter that's benefiting from the sales of "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight."
New Beginnings for Cats (Bouronnais, IL): New Beginnings for Cats' mission is to rescue cats from abuse, neglect, and indifference and place them in loving forever homes. The cage-free, no-kill shelter cares for the cats it takes in for life. They enjoy wide window ledges, cat toys, and furniture with soft blankets in their rooms. Each kitty also receives medical care and a lot of love while they wait for their forever homes. You can learn more about New Beginnings by visiting their website.
Cache Creek Animal Rescue (Union County, IL): Cache Creek Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that saves abandoned and stray cats and dogs. They work to rescue homeless animals in 11 counties in southern Illinois and have 150+ animals in their shelter at any given time. They recently opened a new adoption center in Joliet. The organization also offers a low-cost spay and neuter clinic for the residents of southern Illinois.
Iroquois County Animal Rescue (Iroquois, IL): Iroquois County Animal Rescue houses and cares for the immediate and long-term care needs of abandoned dogs and cats. They also offer a low-cost spay and neuter clinic to the residents of Iroquois county.
Kankakee County Humane Foundation (St. Anne, IL): The Kankakee County Humane Foundation is a non-profit, no-kill dog and cat rescue. The organization encourages spaying and neutering companion animals, and they believe in teaching children how to treat pets.
Grassroots Animal Rescue (Medinah, IL): Grassroots Animal Rescue is based in the Chicago-area and is dedicated to caring for homeless cats. They also focus on educating cat owners and adopters about all aspects of cat care.
Illinois Horse Rescue of Will County: Illinois Horse Rescue of Will County is dedicated to rescuing horses and placing them up for adoption. The organization has barns located in both Beecher and Peotone, IL.
River Valley Animal Rescue (Momence, IL): River Valley Animal Rescue takes in abandoned, abused, neglected, and stray cats, dogs, birds, and other small animals. They provide shelter, medical care, and love for these animals for as long as it takes them to find new forever homes.
It's a Pittie Rescue (Peotone, IL): Rescuing and re-homing pit bull breeds is It's a Pittie Rescue's mission. The organization places all dogs into foster homes while they wait for their forever homes. Because foster parents really get to know the dog's personality, the organization can help you find a dog that will fit right into your lifestyle.
B.A.R.K. - Because Animals Really Kount (Kankakee, IL): B.A.R.K. focuses its efforts on fundraising for Kankakee County Animal Control. B.A.R.K. wants to raise enough funds to build a new shelter and resource center for the community. A new shelter would allow for quarantine rooms for sick animals, space for potential adopters to visit with adoptable animals, and the ability to offer discounted services, such as vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, and microchips.
I would highly recommend "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight" to anyone who has a young child. It makes a perfect bedtime story for any child who loves animals.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight" in exchange for an honest review. Receiving a copy of the book did not influence my opinions in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.