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Birds Board Book Board book – February 7, 2017
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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My only issue with the book, it that it is difficult to see the difference in size between the flamingo and the rest of the birds, because the flamingo is off the page, but I do not think that is enough to lower my 5/5 star rating.
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.
I also love the image of a little girl wearing a red dress and surrounded by nature. With her arms stretched out, she pretends to fly while a cardinal leads the way. Here the text reveals that the little girl realizes that while it is fun to pretend she is a bird, children can't really fly. However, there is something children can do like a bird. . . .
Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa (Mom's Choice and Independent Publisher Awards Recipient)
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...