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Bird Watch Paperback – August 30, 1999

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (August 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069811776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698117761
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From its arresting cover of a vee of geese stretching across the "earless / face of the moon" to the songbirds that sit "along the wires / like scattered notes / on lines of music" on the last page, this soaring collection of poems about birds will delight young ornithologists. Though some of the poems deal with subjects beyond the experience of most children, all are carefully wrought and thoughtful. Lewin's breathtaking watercolors marvelously complement Yolen's graceful language and gentle humor, and a glossary at the end supplies interesting facts about each species of bird included in the volume. Like Yolen's winter finches at their feeder, these elegant poems and unforgettable pictures will last "long, long / past the turning of the year." All ages.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2 Up-- Yolen and Lewin have combined verbal and visual images in an expression of reverence for and joy in our feathered friends. But this is not, in any way, a preachy book. Yolen's startling descriptions almost jump off the page, reminding readers of what they may have watched but never truly saw. Sometimes the images will cause readers to stop and then break into laughter, as when a woodpecker's ratatat is described as "as cleansing as a dentist's probe/ in a mouthful of cavities." There is a poignancy in "Nestlings," which states that, "All babies/ are born/ ugly/ and unfinished./ But today/I found a nest with/ three/ baby/ robins/ and they were/ beautiful/ because they were mine." Each double-page spread contains a single poem and corresponding picture. The birds are beautifully, vibrantly, and realistically portrayed in Lewin's watercolor paintings that perfectly match the words of the poems. The cardinal, "a brilliant blot/on winter's page," is indeed a bold red on the upper left of two stark, snowy pages. The Great Blue Heron is smaller against the dark autumn colors, revealing the complete mirrored reflection of this bird "Motionless, a painted hunter/upon a painted pond." Scientific descriptions of the birds at the end of the book help to assure readers of the accuracy of their portrayal. This is a book that naturalists, artists, and poets, young and old, will enjoy. --Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers Univ . , New Brunswick, NJ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janet Rehmert on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
In Bird Watch, the poet integrates a fact or two about the bird as she paints an elegant picture of its uniqueness and beauty. The reader can envision the cardinal, brilliantly sitting atop the white blanket of snow, "A brilliant blot on winter's page." Or see the song birds, sitting on telephone lines that in one's mind now become lines of music and the birds "like scattered notes." Other inviting features of the book include the bird facts in the back and Ted Lewin's illustrations, marvelously bringing each bird to life. When in search for nature poetry, Jane Yolen is the end of your journey. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Wilson on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
This collection of seventeen poems presents fourteen different species of birds to the reader. The poems vary in length from just a few lines to multiple stanzas. The poems are at times lyrical, thoughtful, and whimsical. Each poem gracefully presents a unique charactereistic, behavior, and/or habit of each bird to the reader. The poems are complemented by double-page water color paintings which accurately depict each bird. There are short notes about each bird at the back of the book. The book is beautiful and would appeal to elementary as well as middle school students.
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