Sylvia and the Birds

How The Bird Lady saved thousands of birds and how you can, too

Johanna Emeney and Sarah Laing

book cover for Sylvia and the Birds
Title Info Sheet Sample Pages

Hard cover


Inspiring young readers to help and protect our native birds

Part graphic biography, part practical guide to protecting our bird wildlife, this remarkable book for young readers and their families is fully committed to detailing the wonders of our native birds, the threats they face and how we can help them. Based on the life of ‘The Bird Lady’, Sylvia Durrant, who helped over 140,000 sick, injured and lost birds during her lifetime, it inspires a reverence for the natural world and is a call to action for all young ecologists and environmentalists.

With charming illustrations by Sarah Laing, an engrossing text, mātauranga Māori insights, activities and how-tos, it offers hours of enchantment and engagement.

Whimsical, loving and layered, Sylvia and the Birds makes a unique contribution to children’s knowledge of the natural world.

To look inside, click here.

‘This is a  special book for anyone who cares about the birdlife of Aotearoa’ — Jenny Nicholls, Waiheke Weekender

Sylvia and the Birds is a fortifying book – a book that makes you want to be “a hero in your own backyard”. It is a book that is informative, entertaining, moving. A complete package.’ — Paula Green, Poetry Box

Sylvia and the Birds would make a great Christmas present for the whole family to explore’ — Alex Eagles, Kete Books

‘Part-graphic biography, part-practical guide to protecting our wildlife, it's a handsome, generous, book ... A book that should be in every household and school.’ — Maria Gill, KidsBooksNZ


  • CATEGORY: Biography and memoir, Children and young adults, Education, Natural history and environment
  • ISBN: 9780995140783
  • PUBLISHER: Massey University Press
  • IMPRINT: Massey University Press
  • PUBLISHED: 22/09/2022
  • PAGE EXTENT: 176
  • FORMAT: Hard cover
Profile image for Johanna Emeney

Johanna Emeney works at Massey University as a teacher of creative writing.

Profile image for Sarah Laing

Sarah Laing is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist.