From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-Veteran science writer Arnold offers another winner: a clear, interesting book about how birds fly. In an easy-to-follow text, she discusses the concept of lift and how birds' wings and feathers are structured to make flight possible. She explains taking off, flapping, gliding, hovering and soaring, and steering and landing, and also describes how birds are structured for the kind of flying necessary to their way of life, with facts about how fast and how long certain species can fly. The book ends with a look at birds that can't fly as well as other animals that can, along with some facts about birds' dinosaur-age ancestor, the Archaeopteryx. Each spread contains one or two paragraphs with a large, full-color illustration as well as smaller, captioned pictures that cover such topics as bone structure and preening. The colorful artwork consistently clarifies the concepts being discussed. Many different species are depicted and identified. Excellent as a source for reports or for general-interest reading.Sally Bates Goodroe, formerly at Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX
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Gr. 3-4. The author of Hawk Highway in the Sky
(1997) and many other natural history titles captures the wonders of bird flight in this brief but specific examination of avian bones, feathers, and other physical features. Illustrated both aptly and expressively by precisely drawn portraits of more than three dozen birds--plus a selection of other animal fliers and gliders--Arnold's text explains the principles of aerodynamic lift, then considers the ins and outs of taking off, hovering, changing direction, and, trickiest of all, landing. From this soaring alternative or companion to the likes of Sandra Markle's Outside and Inside Birds
(1994) and Robin Page's Animals in Flight
(2001), illustrated by Steve Jenkins, children will not only learn the differences between primary, secondary, tertiary, covert, contour, and downy feathers but also come away with a deeper appreciation of how they all work to give birds, as it were, a leg up. John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved