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Birdsong Hardcover – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152000143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152000141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Missy and Deni wake to the "caw-caw-caw" of the crows, the "what-cheer" of cardinals provide background "chatter" for Armando and Juan's breakfast, and the "coo-a-roo" of pigeons can be heard by Jordan and Elly at play in a city park. And so the text continues, eventually closing with the nighttime "who? who? who?" of an owl. Each framed double-page spread (there are 14 in all) features unrelated children playing or working in different locales across the United States accompanied by an indigenous species of bird singing its distinctive song. Using several mediums, including water-based markers, gouache, colored pencil, and opaque ink, Florczak creates scenes with a three-dimensional quality. Stylistic borders depict the state flower of the area presented, and each bird is drawn with obvious attention to detail and authenticity. Unfortunately, the story line is decidedly dull. Other than the birds' songs and the passing of the day, there is no unifying theme, leaving readers little reason to care about the children or the birds. Too long for the younger picture-book audience and too unsubstantial for older readers, this visually inviting paean to birds is a far less powerful or successful collaboration than Wood and Florczak's The Rainbow Bridge (Harcourt, 1995).?Alicia Eames, formerly at Brooklyn Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Wood (The Bunyans, 1996, etc.) covers 14 birds from North America in their natural habitat in this sumptuously illustrated, visually busy picture book. The few lines of text for each bird sketch out the habitat in human terms, and include the common call for the bird shown, e.g., ``Nearby there's a little park nestled among the skyscrapers. While Jordan and Elly play, gentle pigeons splash and make their cooing calls--coo-a-roo, coo-a-roo, coo-a-roo.'' The spreads offer panoramic views of habitats, portraits of the birds, and stylized borders of state flowers characteristic of the habitats. The juxtaposition of these borders and extremely realistic paintings of the birds can be startling, but appealing. (Picture book. 3-7) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

AUDREY WOOD is the much-loved author of more than thirty books for children, including the bestselling The Napping House, Piggies, Heckedy Peg, and most recently, Piggy Pie Po, which she collaborated on with her husband, Don Wood.
She lives in Hawaii.

My first memories are of Sarasota, Florida in the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers' Circus. I was one year old and remember it vividly. My father, an art student, was making extra income by repainting circus murals.

The people in the circus were my friends. I was bounced on the knee of the tallest man in the world and rocked in the arms of the fat lady who could not stand up. My first baby-sitters were a family of little people who lived in a trailer next to ours. They tAudrey2old me stories about the animals they worked with: Chi Chi the Chimpanzee, an elephant named Elder, and Gargantua the Gorilla.

My mother says I was a fast learner, always ahead of my age. My father taught me to swim before I could walk. I walked at seven months and climbed over a seven foot chain link fence when I was one year old. Everyone in the circus thought I was going to be a trapeze artist.

When I was two, I traveled with my parents to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where they studied art. Spanish became my second language. Because my mother read to me every day, I fell in love with books and was reading by age three.

My parents had two more girls, which made me the oldest sister. All of us were trained in the arts: music, dance, painting, and drama. We had a miniature stage in our basement, complete with light-bulb floodlights and a dusty red velvet curtain. Admission for the plays we produced was a bargain--twenty-five cents.

When I was in the first grade, I wanted to grow up to be an artist like my father. Then, in the fourth grade, I decided I'd like to be a children's book author. As an adult who writes and illustrates children's books, I have realized both my childhood ambitions.

I got in trouble in school once for crossing out my favorite author's name and putting in mine--Audrey Brewer instead of Dr. Seuss!

My great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all professional artists. Since I am also a professional artist, there are four consecutive generations of artists in our family. However, I am the only female artist.

On our honeymoon, I read my new husband Don Wood the classic children's book entitled At the Back of the North Wind. Seven years later, we teamed up to create our first picture book together.

When our son Bruce Robert was two years old, I began to read picture books to him. He helped to remind me of my childhood ambitions. That's when I began to write children's books seriously.

www.Audreywood.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it will also take your child on a journey through the seasons all in one day. They will be able to wake with the calls of crows and go to sleep to the hoots of an owl. I highly recommend this book to all young readers especially if they love birds and their birdsongs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one gorgeous book! It covers an unusual topic--bird songs, in a beautiful way. Each bird is drawn in a different geographical setting, accompanied by a different child, so it is also a multicultural experience. Plus it is sumptiously illustrated. It is one of the best bird books that covers birdsong for young readers that I have ever seen, and I've been looking/teaching for 20 years.
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Format: Paperback
This work has great appeal to me as it includes several elements that are of great interest and central to my being; birds, nature, children, good writing and good art. This work was published in 1997 and holds up very well, even to this day.

As the author of this book has noted in her "story teller's note," "Birds are everywhere. Throughout the ages, poets, scholars and common folk have been fascinated by the songs of birds. Sometimes their whistles, trills, and chirps have reminded people of words or sounds they know; those words or sounds are frequently used to describe the songs of many birds - and especially to help us identify birds in the wild." Well the author and illustrator of this wonderful work have done an absolutely superb job in introducing the calls of several species of birds, and done it is a manner that is a delight to the ear and eye.

Each page represents a different species of bird; sometimes two or three, and each page has a different geographical setting. This is a multicultural work, so the children depicted here, are a wonderful mix of different cultures and backgrounds. The author has nailed down the birdsongs of each bird represented here, from the caw, caw, caw of the common crow, to the Gawk! Gawk! of the heron. One of my favorites (I suppose because I spend so much time watching and trying to photograph them) is the Kingfisher. The Rickity-crik-crik, Rickity-crik-crik is quite accurate. Each page shows the children interacting with nature while watching or performing some other activity. The text and the illustrations go perfectly together.

The art work in this book is rather stunning.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
People ought not only to read these sorts of books more often, but to write them. Birdsong is the sort of character-driven novel you'd expect from Walker Percy, in which characters, during the course of a day or a week, discover their freedom, realize the influence of others in their lives, the motivation behind that influence, and whether or not it has a right to be there. Dewey confronts each aspect of his past, vaguely aware that he is in a rare introspective moment that will allow him to separate his past from his present, and ultimately, choose his future.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
The novel is set in 1958 before the drug, etc. scene. So the characters are valid to the period. A wonderful novel.
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