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Birdsongs Hardcover – January 9, 2007
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—This lavishly illustrated count-it-down story describes a day filled with birdsong. At sunrise, a woodpecker "raps a tap dance with his beak, pecking 10 times as he looks for breakfast bugs." The illustration shows a dazzling redheaded woodpecker working on a tree, with 10 "tats" in various sizes scattered across the pages. Each successive spread features a different type of bird with a declining number of utterances. For example, mourning doves land on a telephone wire and "coo" to one another nine times; sparrows crowd around a bird feeder and emit eight "chirps." At day's end, a mockingbird mimics all of the songs she has heard, resulting in a true cacophony of sounds (and a fun challenge for reading aloud). In his vivid, realistic-looking collages, Jenkins uses accurate textures and colors for each species, and creates the appearance of depth, light, and warmth (the chickadees, described as making a tree look "like a candelabra," are divine). The writing is lyrical and engaging, and quick "feathery facts" about the creatures are appended. This book, which pairs nicely with Aileen Fisher's Know What I Saw? (Roaring Brook, 2005) and Ann Jonas's Bird Talk (Greenwillow, 1999), will engender a love for birds and an awareness of their unique music.—Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Jenkins' signature collages of shaped, painted, and textured papers once again dazzle the eye and warm the imagination. Franco spins a nature lesson in lucid language and throws in a counting exercise, too. Just after daybreak, a woodpecker "raps a tap dance with his beak" 10 times. The tat-tat-tats are sprinkled across the spread in varying font sizes. Mourning doves coo nine times. The dee-dee-dees--six of them--from the chickadees are interrupted by the appearance of the cat. Jenkins works astonishing detail into the close-ups of his avian subjects, and Franco's fresh imagery (enough chickadees in a tree to make it look like a candelabra and a robins "heavy with eggs") counts down to the hummingbird's one tiny sound. At dusk, the mockingbird repeats every song she has heard all day. Charming. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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