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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora's people. Then one afternoon a magical bird flutters into his garden, and Alberto, lonely inside, welcomes it into his home. And when a kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alb…

Overall Book Review:

The Boy, The Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods was fun to read primarily because of the lyrical language used throughout, and the illustrated layout of the pages. It was a delight to look at, and that’s probably what I enjoyed most about this book.

It is definitely not a stand-alone. Like A Series of Unfortunate Events, this book opens a bunch of questions and provides very few answers, leaving a wide-open ending that sets up for an obvious next book.

The overall story was simple, about a lonely old man whose entire family died in an outbreak years before which caused him to go into the coffin-making business. His somewhat regular life is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious child with a pet bird, and a secretiveness that hints at a dark past. The incorporation of stories about a fantastical place where flowers are made of rubies and the grass of silver was a nice addition, especially when it is revealed that the place may not be so mystical at all.

A really pretty, simple, easy read that leaves one anticipating book two.

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Philomel

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Reports/flashbacks of a sickness that caused many deaths; description of a family falling sick and dying; a character requests a coffin be made for him and relates how his mother was killed by a runaway cart; a character is found dead; characters attend a funeral; a character is burgled; a child is apparently starving; characters occasionally discuss death; a character braves a snowstorm to find a nearly-frozen child; report of children’s deaths in the past; a character is terrified of being seen; characters wonder if someone is starting to burn bodies rather than burying them; a character reveals he is afraid of his father; a character tells a story about abuses done by his father; a character relates being with his mother when she died; a character is in pursuit of his son; a character is accosted in a graveyard and threatened verbally and with the threat of a pistol; a man takes a tumble; characters search a house and a character hides in a coffin; a character is found dead in his bed; characters gossip about how a woman died, and accuse her sister of poisoning her; a character hears a sound and thinks people have broken into his house; characters steal.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Child abuse, death of family members, death.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Fantasy is my bread and butter. I read and write it. I’m obsessed with world-building and fascinated with lyrical prose. I love that I can contribute to the writing community by recommending good books that can actually make a difference in a person’s life.