Friday, October 8, 2021

Get a Peek at These Beaks!

A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use 
by Sara Levine; illus. by Kate Slater
32 pages; ages 5-9
Millbrook Press, 2021

theme: birds, adaptation, science

Have you ever imagined you were a bird?

Wings would be cool, for sure. But, as Sara shows, beaks are even more cool because they are built-in tools that can help comb your feathers, scoop up food, and even show how you feel. A puzzle or mystery is presented as a question: What kind of bird has a beak that works as a strainer (or a straw or a net or….)? Take a guess, then flip the page to find out whether you are right.

What I like about this book: I like the Q & A format. And when you flip the page and discover the bird that has the beak that serves that particular purpose, Sara has another surprise. An * that highlights a text box with a list of other birds with that sort of beak. So there are more than one answer! I also like that the last question is what kind of bird uses its beak to show some love… And how you can show some love for the birds – and their amazing beaks. And there is Back Matter! A wonderful explanation of how bird beaks change (evolve) over time, plus some extra reading for kids with birds on the brain.

After peeking at all these beaks I knew I had to ask Sara One Question:

Me: If you were a bird, what kind of beaky tool would you want - and how would you use it?

Sara: What a fun question! My first thought is that I’d want the type of beak that could be used to type, as I have a lot of writing to do. But, on second thought, maybe it’s better to stick with a “realistic” response – one covered in the book. And also a response that is more true for me. So, what I’d want is a beak that can be used to show some love. Readers who want to know which birds have this sort of beak will have to read the book to find out.

Beyond the Books:

What kinds of beaks do birds have in your neighborhood or local park? Sit quietly and watch some birds. Do they have thick beaks? Thin beaks? Long, hooked beaks? Flat spoon-shaped beaks? Draw some of the bird beaks you see.

Eat like a bird. Here’s a fun activity to test different beak types and food. You can add a straw and something slurpy.

Sara is a member of #STEAMTeam2021. 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.


  1. What a fascinating book! Can't wait to read it!

  2. What a great concept! And well-exectuted in a playful and informative way. I'll add to my growing TBR list. Thanks!

  3. I need to find out which beak Sara chose! Thanks for sharing, Sue!

  4. What a delightful book! It would pair well with a book I reviewed Orangutan Hats and Other Tools Animals Use. This topic fascinates me, so I'll be looking for this book!

  5. I love Sara's books! An that is such a great cover. I am excited to read it. Thanks!

  6. What a fun book. I look forward to reading it. Happily, my library has 6 copies on order, and I am on the hold list. Thanks for the post.