themes: nonfiction, birds, poetry
For the youngest readers, a couple of board books that introduce colors paired with photographs of common 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.
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.
by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones
32 pages; ages 4-6
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!
A Place to Start a Family, Poems about Creatures that Build
by David L. Harrison; illustrated by Giles Laroche
32 pages; ages 5-9
For thousands of years people have built shelters, writes David Harrison. Many animals are builders, too.
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.