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Birds Hardcover – February 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061363049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061363047
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-K—This brief introduction to birds focuses on such basic features as their different colors and sizes. Soft acrylic paintings that appear as spreads, vignettes, and framed scenes match a text that perfectly conveys the young narrator's fascination with the birds in her environment. "Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire. They didn't move and they didn't move and they didn't move. I looked away for just a second…." Three lines of identically positioned birds on wires appear with the text across the spread. Then a page turn reveals a thick, black, empty wire stretched across a stark white spread along with the words "and they were gone." The youngster imagines what the sky would look like if the birds could make marks with their tails and how bird-clouds would look during the day and at night. She can't really fly like the birds, but the final page demonstrates one way in which she can imitate them. The child voice in this charming story is just right and will resonate with the very youngest children. And the little girl's musings can encourage more "what if" conversations that will spark their imaginations.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Created by a husband-and-wife team, this delightful picture book bridges the space between concept books and longer narrative stories. An unseen narrator hears birds singing through an open window and looks out to see birds that represent concepts, such as color, shape, size, and number. The story becomes more sophisticated as it progresses. The narrator’s questions about birds open an exploration into more abstract, organic concepts about the natural environment: “If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like,” for example. At the story’s end, the now-visible narrator, having imagined herself as a bird throughout the book, is back at her window, singing. Henkes’ spare, direct words have a lyrical magic, while Dronzek’s bright acrylic paintings, in saturated primary color and heavy black outlines, reflect the text’s plain elegance while carrying an exuberant energy all their own. One particularly memorable spread shows a large flock of black birds filling the sky in elegant trajectories of flight. Together, the words and pictures create a book that will enchant preschool audiences again and again. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Thom Barthelmess

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at www.kevinhenkes.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I highly recommend this lovely book.
Allan C Dooley
I really enjoy reading this book to him, it is very cute and creative, with great pictures.
J. Kaneshiro
The illustrations are beautiful and simple.
sofiabelle22

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Voelker on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We heard this book at library storytime and checked it out. Then renewed it. And again. Then returned it and checked it out the next day. It's on my 1 year old's Xmas list so we can own it. He wants it read to him at least five times a day. When it's done he cries, sometimes. This review is obviously biased because hey, babies are strange and unpredictable. But I love reading it to him too. I love the imaginative language and the pictures.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the nicest songs to get up to in the morning is the singing of the birds. You can hear them sing "through the open window." There are all different colored birds. There are red, blue, brown, red "or even green, I think." Some birds are so dark you can only see their shape, nothing more. There are big birds like flamingos or tiny ones like hummingbirds. There are all kinds of "in-between" sized birds like owls, finches, seagulls and pipers.

Sometimes there are many birds all lined up in a row on a telephone wire. You can hear them chatter if you are close enough, but every now and then if you look away "for just a second . . . gone!" In this book you will see amazing patterns that birds would create if their tail feathers were like paintbrushes and "made marks with their feathers when they flew," or what birds would look like if they were clouds in the morning or at night. You will see them in trees and BOOM flying up and away to the sky. Have you ever wondered where birds go when it rains?

The text and the art work blend together in a magical way to bring the love of birds and birdwatching to the young child. Many children seem to share their fascination of birds with their parents. This book is easy to read, especially given the visuals, but would be much more fun if someone read it to them. It's a perfect book to read aloud during circle time as well. Birds are beautiful creatures, aren't they?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love reading this book to groups this time of year. It reinforces for kids the beauty of all the birds that are singing outside their windows. The simple story and the simple and sometimes elegant illustrations make this perfect for group sharing. It always generates lots of audience response and really prompts the imagination. A big recommend for group and one on one sharing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kidslibrarylady on December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
my 2 1/2 year old loves this book. We have had it out of the library for the maximum time and I just ordered it...
She absolutely loves the illustrations and I enjoy reading this lovely book.
Her favorite part is the one where all the birds are on the tree and leave at the same time, and she shouts "surprise!" on the 2nd page (for those who have read the book, you know what I mean).

She loves the page which talks about how some birds are so dark all that you can see are their shapes, and says every time we read it, "can't see, only the shape,"

It is a lovely lovely book and I look forward to more from this husband wife team. This inspired us to check out Oh! and other books by this couple, as well as Kevin Henkes's books...
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Format: Hardcover
Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek have created a simple and lovely picture book that is perfect for passing on `bird loving' to the youngest generation.

An open window
A curtain blowing in the breeze
Pink cherry blossoms against a backdrop of clear blue sky
A robin perched on a branch, head raised, mouth opened wide, singing his morning song

The above describes the first of many simple but moving illustrations. Laura Dronzek's artwork flows so perfectly with the text that I had to double check if Henkes both wrote AND illustrated this book. When the text is basic, the art is basic. But when the text builds and becomes more imaginative, so does the art.

The imaginative section is my favorite part of the book. I love the following text and the illustration it inspires.

"If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like." Here Dronzek shares her vision of the sky in a colorfully busy, exciting, and almost chaotic image.

"If clouds were birds the sky would look like this. Or this." Here the artwork moves the reader into tranquility. On one page, yellow and blue create a beautiful sunset over water with yellow bird-clouds soaring above. The next page has a lovely night sky image where three bird-clouds sleep, curled up peacefully among the stars and under a full moon. The next spread carries this peaceful moment forward with a soothing snow scene. Snowflakes fill the pages, and a lone cardinal rests on a branch in a naked tree. Then, SURPRISE! Silhouettes of birds crowd the branches of the leafless tree. The next spread brings an explosion of black against the blue sky as a swarm of bird silhouettes takes flight.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Olson on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We all love the illustrations, but wow, my daughter just loves this book. The simple story is just right and the images are wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ellen K. Dudis on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations in this book are bold and colorful. The text gives the pictures a chance to amuse as well as inform its audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CG on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice enough for reading to child, but I was looking for a more realistic representation of common and backyard birds for my 18 month old grandson, who was very intrigued with what he was seeing through his window.
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