Animals in Literature

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Always Blue for Chicu


Over many long years, Chicu is handed off from one owner to another until he finally ends up at a parrot sanctuary. Chicu’s story opens a window into the life of exotic birds whose very beauty leads to their imprisonment, birds whose unique qualities call out for understanding and care.

Why use this book?

  • Demonstrates an accurate portrayal of what wild birds can experience when taken into captivity (being re-homed, improper care, etc).
  • Includes great information at the end of the book on parrots as pets, including their specializes needs.
  • Demonstrates the human-animal bond (both strong and weak) and how it can impact the care the bird receives.

Animal Welfare Concerns:

  • The birds are personified in this book. Discuss with students if birds would really express gratitude when vocalizing? If not, what do you think the birds would be communicating about?
  • Illustrates a woman smoking next to a bird cage. Discuss with students pet health and how to keep them safe and happy.
  • Chicu is not always re-homed to appropriate houses.

Ask your students:

  • Why do you think Chicu was re-homed so often?
  • Why is it important to do research before getting a pet?
  • How do SPCAs and Humane Societies help homeless pets?

Related Resources to Book:

  • World Wildlife Fund has information on wildlife capture and trade including problems associated with it and effects, including indirect harm.




Karen Dugan, 2010


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