Friday, March 9, 2018

Recently hatched Bird Books!

Geese started flying north overhead a couple weeks ago! So I figured it's time to share some new books that feature birds.
themes: nonfiction, birds, poetry

For the youngest readers, a couple of board books that introduce colors paired with photographs of common birds.

 Look and Learn: Birds
24 pages (board); ages 2-5
National Geographic Kids, 2017

Splashy, splash, splash.

A red bird is taking a bath. Simple language introduces youngsters to colors, bird sounds, feathers and features such as a crest of feathers. Bright photos bring birds close to the reader. Fun and engaging, with some interactive components: touch the bird's feathers. I would have liked text to introduce the common names of birds.

My Colors (Early Birds series)
by Patricia Mitter
24 pages; ages 1-3
Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2017

The Early Bird board books aim to introduce young children to nature and concepts. This one pairs colors to common birds children might see in their neighborhood.

What I like about this book: Each page features a bird, as well as a natural feature. For example, cardinal is paired with red berries. Text also describes the birds' calls. Tabs allow young children to grab hold for easy page-turning. At the back is a spread of all the birds introduced and QR codes linked to the sounds the birds make.

Bird Builds a Nest
by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones
32 pages; ages 4-6
Candlewick, 2018

It's a beautiful day. Bird is up early - she's got a lot to do.

Breakfast, collecting nesting materials, and building a nest ... that's a long "to do" list. But Bird sets off, and soon she's found breakfast. A worm!
What I like about this book: it's about birds, sure. But also about physics and the forces Bird uses in her life. She pulls worms; they resist. She gathers twigs in her beak and, as she flies up, gravity pulls them down. When she builds her nest she has to push twigs and pull twigs to weave her home. Front and back matter include information about forces and some simple activities kids can do to explore them.

A Place to Start a Family, Poems about Creatures that Build
by David L. Harrison; illustrated by Giles Laroche
32 pages; ages 5-9
Charlesbridge, 2018

For thousands of years people have built shelters, writes David Harrison. Many animals are builders, too.

In this book he and illustrator, Giles Laroche, introduce readers to birds and other animal architects, and the cool shelters they construct.

The poem about Red Ovenbird is a list of questions: How do you hide your nest like that?  There is one about white storks and their nests high on chimneys. Poems also introduce wasps, spiders, moles, prairie dogs, and more.

What I like: that the poems raise questions for readers to consider. And I love the layered artwork. Laroch combines drawing, cutting, painting, gluing.... up to seven or eight layers in each illustration. Makes me want to get my fingers busy with art.

Beyond the Books:
Go on a bird walk! All you need is your legs, a place to walk, and a pair of binoculars. Take along a notebook so you can draw birds you see or write notes. Maybe you will hear an interesting song, or notice a nest. 

Make a list of the colors of birds you see. Learn a bird song.  

Make a nest! Gather some nesting materials and build a nest. Write down a poem about the shelter you built. Draw a picture of it.

Make your own layered art inspired by birds living in your area. Check out this post to learn more about how Giles Laroche does his artwork. Then have fun!

Today we're joining other reviewers over at Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copies from the publishers.


  1. I just got A Place to Start a Family. I haven't read it yet though. I love your activities. Thanks for the ideas. Bird Builds a Nest looks good. I added that one to my list.

  2. What great board books for kids who are curious about birds building nests. I am always on the search for interesting and fun books for our young grandbabies.

  3. What a treat! A whole list of bird books to enjoy, including a couple I haven't seen yet. Thank you for sharing this aviary collection!

  4. Wonderful nes bird books. Thanks!

  5. I love the bird books you found, especially "Bird Builds a Nest". Great choices! I'm hearing all sorts of new bird calls now, too. Best part of spring!

  6. Was just taken birding for the first time a few weeks ago - loved it!