Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Friendship

Abby's Birds

by (author) Ellen Schwartz

illustrated by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin

Tradewind Books
Initial publish date
Jun 1999
Friendship, Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 1999
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: 1 to 4
  • Reading age: 5 to 8


Mrs. Naka teaches Abby how to make origami birds and Abby conjures up a surprise to comfort her.

About the authors

Ellen Schwartz's profile page

Sima Elizabeth Shefrin played as a toddler in the galleries of Italy, and has been creating art ever since. She is particularly interested in the ways artwork brings together people of different cultures. Her Middle East Peace Quilt is an international community art project that has been touring North America since 1999. Elizabeth commutes between Vancouver and Gabriola Island, British Columbia. Abby's Birds is her first book.

Sima Elizabeth Shefrin's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Abby's Birds

This award-winning book uses patterned Japanese origami paper, textured cut-paper and rice paper in collage style to create intriguing artwork. Abby learns valuable life lessons from Mrs. Naka, her elderly Japanese neighbour. Through their shared love of the backyard robin family, Abby experiences the joys and sorrows of the life cycle. When Mrs. Naka is hospitalized, Abby is able to express empathy and love for her in a poignant way with the origami paper cranes her neighbour had taught her to fold. Instructions for creating paper cranes are printed inside the book jacket cover.

Ellen Schwartz is a Burnaby, BC author who has written twelve children’s books. Sima Elizabeth Shefrin lives in Vancouver and on Gabriola Island, BC.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

Abby’s Birds

Abby’s elderly Japanese neighbour, Mrs. Naka, teaches her how to make tori (origami birds). When the old woman has an accident, Abby uses her new skill to conjure up a comforting surprise for Mrs. Naka’s return home. Includes instructions on how to make paper cranes.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Ellen Schwartz

Other titles by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin

Related lists