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Every Day Birds Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This book introduces children to 20 common North American birds via simple, rhyming verses that highlight the avian species' appearances and/or behaviors ("HERON fishes with his bill./SPARROW hops in brown./MOCKINGBIRD has many voices./PIGEON lives in town.") and clear, often life-size cut-paper illustrations. Set against predominantly solid backgrounds, the expert paper-cuts are bold and eye-catching, capturing the texture and telltale characteristics of the birds' plumage. While all of the illustrations are aesthetically pleasing, not all of the subjects appear to be to scale in the pairings, and the distinctive blue jay and American goldfinch are referred to merely as "Jay" and "Finch," respectively. A four-page visual glossary provides additional information. With this book and possibly a simplified field guide in hand, kids in the primary grades can sharpen observation skills and begin to learn a bit about their feathered neighbors. VERDICT A great way to expose children to the wonders of nature, many of which are in their own backyards.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal
"Beginning birding at its best..."
"[A] striking tribute to avian diversity..."
"When a little tyke is ready to make the animal identification leap from 'bird' to 'specific bird,' VanDerwater is ready with a rudimentary field guide."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Using a simple, rhyming format, twenty common North American birds are introduced, one per page, along with a signature characteristic for each. The accompanying cut-paper illustrations by Dylan Metrano are striking, bringing the birds to bold, beautiful life in a truly compelling fashion. The whole poem is repeated at the back, followed by a closing section with additional facts about each bird family to continue the learning.
Described as "beginning birding at its best..." by Kirkus Reviews and "a great way to expose children to the wonders of nature, many of which are in their own backyards" by School Library Journal, EVERY DAY BIRDS should be in the hands of every child who is curious about the world around them. (And what child isn't?)
Rather than going for full scientific rigour, the book focuses in on a few simple facts which children can easily learn to identify. Look for the bright yellow of the goldfinch. Listen for particularly loud blue jays. Watch for the black cap of the chickadee. The great blue heron goes fishing. Nothing here is at all fantastical, and these are all good starting points for anyone interested in birds. At age two, you don’t really need to be able to identify the finer points of the male vs. the female bufflehead, but you may be very interested in knowing that the oriole’s nest hangs from a tree. And this is all told in that lovely, easy-going poem which makes it very easy (as I’ve found out) for children to remember the bird facts!