Friday, April 16, 2021

Birds Show Off Their Finery

Bird Show
by Susan Stockdale
32 pages; ages 2-6
Peachtree Publishing Company, 2021

theme: birds, art

I soar through the sky and like birds everywhere, I’m decked out in feathers and wear them with flair.

Welcome to the plumage fashion show! In this book, 18 brilliantly dressed birds show off their jackets, skirts, aprons, and headdresses. Well … at least they show off their wing bars, frilly feathers, long tails, and feathery crowns.

What I like about this book: The lyrical, rhyming text is fun to read aloud and emphasizes the “clothing-like” aspects of birds’ coloration. Susan’s paintings are bold and highlight texture and structure of the feather features. Through it all, she shows that birds, like people, are a vibrant and diverse lot.

And there is back matter! After explaining that birds are the only animals with feathers, she provides additional information about each bird featured in the book. She also includes a “match the pattern to the bird” activity.

Beyond the Books:

Author-illustrator Susan Stockdale gives a peek into her illustration process for Bird Show. Watch here. 

Head outside to watch the Bird Show in your neighborhood or local park. What birds do you see? What “fashions” are they showing off?

Draw and color in your own “showy” bird. It can be a real bird or you can create your own. Here are some ideas to get you going. Find showy tail feathers here.  Here’s a post at Cornell’s All About Birds showing feather colors.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Explore Outdoors ~ Trees that Bark!


A few weeks ago we hiked at a local nature preserve. I enjoyed comparing some of the bark textures. This looks like difficult terrain for an ant to navigate...

This week, pay attention to trees that live around you. Get to know their bark. Look up and see what their world looks like above.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Itsy-Bitsy Spiders....

April is national poetry month, so it’s only appropriate that I feature a book written in poetry. Or maybe it’s required… I seem to have misplaced my “rules for reviewing kid’s books”. And because I love critters with multiple jointed appendages, I present:

Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs
by Leslie Bulion; illus. by Robert Meganck 
48 pages; ages 8-12 
Peachtree Publishing Company, 2021  

“From leafy treetop to forest floor …” and places in between and beyond, We Spy Spiders! Some are busy weaving webs, others riding silk balloons through the air, and yet others on the prowl. There are happy spiders, diving spiders, dancing spiders, and social spiders. 

So Many Spiders to love! Each spread features poems and information about the spiders. Things like how they kill and digest their prey, engage in foolery – and even how they become prey themselves. (I have not eaten any spiders so I cannot speak to how they taste…)

Leslie includes lots of wonderful Back Matter (and you know how I love back matter!). There’s a glossary, some spider identification notes and suggestions for further study. She also includes an activity: how to hunt for spiders at night. And she provides some notes on the poetic forms she uses. Here are four she highlights, with links so you can try writing some poems about spiders – or anything you want to write about – yourself:
A couple weeks ago Leslie and a bunch of us hung out at the GROG Blog to talk about why we love bugs. You can read what she said here. And you can learn more about Leslie and the fun books she writes at her website here.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Explore Outdoors ~ Flowers!


I love how daffodils look like sunbursts popping out of our front yard. When you get close enough to look at them face-to-face, you realize they have a sunny personality as well!

Take a close look at an early spring flower this week. What do you notice? What sort of personality does your flower exude?