Friday, June 14, 2013

Look Up! A Kid's Guide to Birdwatching

Look Up!Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
written & illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate
64 pages, ages 8 & up (great for adults too!)
Candlewick Press, 2013

When was the last time you read a birdwatching guide for the humor? 
Yeah, I thought so. This book will challenge your perspective on what a bird book is all about. From the cartoonish-yet-realistic birds between the covers to the lists of essential birdwatching gear covering the endpapers, this is one informative and fun-to-read book. 

In this book the birds talk back and make up songs about their lives. They sport cool hairdos and show off their feet. But most of all, they make sure that author Annette LeBlanc Cate tells it straight. Cate is not an ornithologist; she's an artist and loves to draw birds. As she put is: "Spending time outside observing life and drawing in a sketchbook can help you to see the world in a whole new way."

Sure, you've always known those rocks were there. But when you take the time to draw them, you do more than see them - you start to feel connected to the natural world. Just like rocks, you can watch birds right where you are: in your backyard, outside the office window, at a park. Cate uses a rainbow to help identify birds. She shows how shapes are good clues to identity, and those fancy hairdos. She devotes a section to sounds and bird calls and talks about habitats and range. And she even gives handy pointers on how to draw birds.

Learn more about birds at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Check out other science posts at STEM Friday. Review copy provided by publisher.

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