by Randi Sonenshine; illus. by Anne Hunter
32 pages; ages 4 - 8
theme: birds, animal families, homes
These are the twigs, dried in the sun, that Papa collected one by one to cradle the nest that Wren built.
Page-by-page, verse-by-verse we watch Wren and her mate make their nest from things found in the forest. Twigs, moss, feathers, thread – all used to make the nest. And then… there are eggs and, soon, a family safely together in the homey nest.
And there is Back Matter! Wren facts for curious readers and a brief glossary that clarifies words used in the text – perfect for kids who want to know the difference between a hatchling, a nestling, and a fledgling.
Does Randi love wrens? I caught up with her the other week to ask her that Exact Question!
Randi: As you can probably guess, I love birds! They are such fascinating, entertaining creatures. I love photographing them, listening to them, and watching all their avian drama unfold at my feeder and in my yard. I hate to say I have favorites, but, alas, I do! Carolina wrens have captured my heart. They are tiny, but sassy, smart, and steady; they are always nearby. Even if I don't see them, I hear them... singing, scolding, and sometimes warning each other.
One spring, a pair of them built a nest inside a bike helmet in my garage. Later that season, they built one inside a cloth grocery bag on a shelf in the garage. This astounded me. Later, when I looked at the abandoned nests, I was intrigued and impressed by the ingenious design and the assortment of nesting materials they used, so I started to research (a little obsessively, actually!). I discovered the most amazing details in my research, particularly the scientific facts and theories regarding their choice of nesting materials. I knew this had to be a subject of a picture book, but I wasn't sure how to frame it. Then one morning I woke up with the title in my head, and that was it!
Beyond the Books:
Get to know the wrens who live in your neighborhood. What they lack in size and flashiness, they make up for with their big personalities. Check out this article by Audubon, and this page from Cornell.
Listen for wren calls. Here’s a house wren, and here’s a Carolina wren.
If you were a bird, what kind of nest would you build? Collect some materials and build a nest.
Want to help nesting birds? Here’s how.
Randi Sonenshine is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about her at her website.
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.