‘Our Neighbors Have Feathers’ Publication Hopes To Introduce More Children to Our Urban Birds

Special to the Patriot-Bridge

In partnership with Charlestown Nursery School, Jean Martin Cadène and his wife, Nancy Wovers Cadène, are releasing a beautiful photo book of Charlestown birds, titled, “Our Neighbors Have Feathers”. This first book of photographs by Cadène reflects the beauty of nature that can be found in an urban neighborhood and showcases the astonishing number of birds in our community.

During the pandemic when the children at Charlestown Nursery School had moved their classrooms outside, they saw Jean and shared their passion for birds in the city. As Lise White, educator at Charlestown Nursery School explains in the introduction, “Providing budding ornithologists with quality binoculars, sketching materials, and field guides, teachers cultivate the conditions for children to build knowledge of, and appreciation for, our feathered neighbors. As children name, draw and care for our neighborhood birds, they practice perspective-taking and develop empathy, forming their dispositions as caregivers and future stewards of our environment. “ Over time, Jean’s photos allowed children to identify and study a growing number of birds. Eventually, they wondered if he might be able to create a book for Charlestown ornithologists.

Thanks to the design and illustrations from Nancy, along with inspiration from their daughter, Isabelle, Jean was able to transform his photos into a wonderful guide for Charlestown residents and children. This collection of bird photographs takes you through City Square, Paul Revere Park, The Locks, and the Navy Yard. In each location, Jean has found beautiful feathered friends. The wonder of these birds will delight readers of all ages.

Now, Jean, Nancy, and the Charlestown Nursery School community hope this book can make it to the hands of every student in Charlestown. In this first publication, they are selling the books in bundles (for $100, buy 1 and donate 2 to local children or $35/each). If they reach their goal, they will be able to bring books to every child in each public program in the neighborhood.

As naturalists who share this neighborhood with so much wildlife, they look forward to the opportunity to introduce every child and adult, to the birds of Charlestown. They cannot wait for all students to study the glory of urban birds just as the Cadène family and the children of Charlestown Nursery School have. As Nancy writes, “… enjoy the bird life that is all around us here in Charlestown, every day and in every season. Birds are a joy to watch and a gift our neighborhood gives to us. You never know who you will meet!”

If you would like to support this project, pre-orders are on sale now through Venmo @charlestownnurseryschool. $35/each book or a $100/bundle to get one and give two to local school children. There will also be copies for sale at the “Our Neighbors Have Feathers” book launch party on Sunday, December 18th from 4-5 at Charlestown Nursery School.

To learn more about Jean Martin Cadène’s photos visit https://www.oiseauxphoto.com/book.

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