From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-An introduction to the life cycle of the bluebird from spring mating, nest building, and egg laying to the southward migration in fall. The brief, readable text is so interesting and informative that it will easily hold the attention of children not yet capable of reading it on their own. Adult bluebirds raise two families each year-in spring and in late summer. Once the fledglings from the first brood have learned to fly and to hunt their own food, they help the parents to raise their younger siblings; then they all fly south together. Using layer upon layer of colored pencil over watercolor wash, Chrustowski shows each step in the cycle in bold, vividly colored illustrations so finely detailed that the softness of the birds' downy heads and breasts is clearly visible. Proper terminology (embryo, nestling, fledgling, clutch) is included within the text; stages of development from yolk sac to embryo to chick are shown and briefly described. A final page of notes provides further information. Although no sources are listed, this finely crafted presentation of fact and artwork exemplifies the best in informational literature.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 1-3. This colorful book offers children a close-up look at bluebirds and their young. In the spring, a mated pair weaves a nest in a birdhouse. The female lays four eggs, the chicks hatch, and the nestlings grow. First leaving their house for short flights, they gradually learn to live on their own. A sidebar called "Peek Inside an Egg" shows three stages of embryonic development and explains what is actually happening at each stage. The large-scale, colored pencil drawings with watercolor washes will draw children to the book and help them visualize a bird that most have never seen. Chrustowski, the author-illustrator of Bright Beetle
(2000), shows a fine-tuned sense of what interests children, the ability to express it in simple words, and a talent for illustrating animals in a way that is both accurate and appealing. The book's last page comments on the comeback of bluebirds after the construction of nest boxes and the three types of bluebirds found in North America. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved