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Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? Hardcover – March 18, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—A boy and girl on a neighborhood walk encounter many birds singing and calling. Short rhyming verses capture the essence of these backyard birds, e.g., "Cardinal wears a pointy hat. 'cheer-cheer-cheer-purdy-purdy-purdy'/Chickadee is an acrobat. 'chick-a-dee-dee-dee.'" The children wonder why the robin nesting in the tree next to their house is silent, until the day when cheeping, peeping follow the tapping, cracking sounds of the eggs hatching. Soft watercolor and collagelike digital art beautifully impart a springtime feeling to the spreads. Following the poem-story is a two-page mock "interview" with the mother bird, which serves as a useful explanation of nesting behaviors. This lovely introduction to common neighborhood birds also includes some less familiar varieties, such as the wood thrush and the whip-poor-will.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
*Starred Review* Throughout the day, as a boy and a girl walk in fields near their house, they see many birds and hear their distinctive calls. But a quiet bird captures the children’s attention. Sitting in her nest in a tree, the robin is alert but silent. The next morning, the duo hears sounds from the nest, beginning with “tapping cracking” and ending with “breaking shaking.” Three baby birds join the robin and her mate in the nest. The appended “A Word with the Bird” section, cleverly written as a Q&A with the robin, offers a short, highly readable account of life in the nest before and after the eggs hatch. Included is an explanation of why the nesting bird is quiet: “I don’t want other animals to know I am hiding eggs. They might eat them!” The pleasing text is well constructed, with rhythm and rhyme altered in different types of stanzas, and distinctive birdsongs included in the verse. In his picture-book debut, Pak’s collage-style artwork is distinctive, dynamic, and rewarding to look at again and again. Retro in style, the watercolor-and-digital-media illustrations make good use of varied perspectives, layouts, and lighting effects. A beautifully crafted, informative picture book. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan
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Top customer reviews
Each page has just a few words (which is perfect --sometimes less is more) and shows a different bird along with text of it's bird song - Mourning Doves - coah, cooo, cooo, coooo; Woodpecker (pecking on a tree- cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk; the Starling singing from a metal pole - whistle--ee--wee--tree. They children notice and wonder why there is no sound heard from the nesting bird.
Continuing their nature journey they see sparrows, swallows, crows, cardinals, chickadees, catbirds, blue jays, whip-poor-wills and a woodthrush. Each bird is beautifully drawn and the children learn more bird sounds. One day our little nature lovers hear a tapping and cracking sound coming from the previously quiet nest, and a few days later sounds and activity coming from the nest-- babies have arrived.
What a beautiful book to help little ones experience the simple joys of nature. The artwork by Kenard Pak is so well done and realistic. The earth tones selected were perfect, with just occasional pops of color especially with the robins and cardinals. I loved that there were educational Questions and Answers at the back of the book, called "A Word With the Bird" that asks questions of the mother and father robin. For example: Why are they so quiet in the nest? What is the role of the father robin? What should you do if you fins a bird sitting in their nest? What happens to the babies once they leave the nest, plus several more useful Q/A's. This would make for great discussions with parent/child or preschool teacher and students.
This is truly a beautiful book - a terrific addition for libraries and parents of little ones. (Ages 4+) BUY IT!
1) There is rhyme and rhythm, but if you decide to stop and make the sounds (which are just below each line of rhyming text) of each bird described, you may lose your rhythm.
For example - from two pages -
Woodpecker calls from a tree with a hole.
cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk (in a different color and font than previous line)
Starling sings from a metal pole.
2) There are two voices in this text - besides the sounds the birds are making. I'm not exactly sure who they are - the narrator? the two kids in some of the illustrations? And I didn't figure this out until I was reading it a second time and noticed that some of the text has quotation marks and some does not. UGH. Basically, the lead voice names what the other birds are doing and then asks the other person, "But have you heard the nesting bird?" and this person responds with text that is in quotes.
3) Not sure where I'd make this clear - but the robin is just the "nesting bird" in this book; all birds nest. I think young children might be confused and think that only the robin nests and that other yard birds just flit around and sing all the time. It would have been nice if the author had made this clear in the author's notes at the end - "A Word with the Bird."
A lot of potential for launching a unit of study or making a point about how being still and quiet is important when taking care of eggs, but...