A Flock of New Bird Books Take Flight
Standing in the middle of Northampton, the day before spring equinox, I looked up at the sky just as a flock of geese were veering north. The forecast may have called for freezing rain and snow, but the geese knew otherwise. They knew winter was sinking, and spring was most certainly on the rise. I love birds for that. Their return to our feeders, their songs weaving through newly budded branches, their nests taking shape under the eaves of our porch – are all signs of spring. And this year, to our delight, a flock of new bird books has landed in our reading repertoire just as the first robins have returned to our yard. A perfect complement to bird watching, here are seven new bird books to share with your own little peeps.
Mama Built A Little Nest, written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, is just right for the youngest bird enthusiasts. Combining a playful four-line poem with a few lines of scientific facts, the picture book introduces a specific bird and the type of nest they make for their young. Includes the weaver bird, hummingbird, penguin, falcon, woodpecker, and more. A great creative nonfiction pick for wee learners.
- Mama Built A Little Nest written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Published by Beach Lane Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-1442421165
Nest, written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley, takes readers through a year in the life of a young robin. Hatching, fledging, making friends, the passing of seasons, being with family – it’s all here in this sweet picture book. With just one word per image, there is lots of room for imaginations to fill in the space between pages. Emotionally evocative in both text and pictures.
- Nest written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley. Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-1442489714
In the picture book, Have You Heard The Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Park, a girl and boy listen to birds singing and calling, and wonder why one bird, a mother robin, is sitting quietly inside her nest. Lyrical, rhyming verse and collage style artwork introduce kids to the habits of nesting birds. And a clever Q&A with the mother robin explains in more detail the reasons why she is so quiet and still.
- Have You Heard The Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Park. Published by HMH books for Young Readers, 2014. ISBN: 978-0544105805
I Hatched! written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Jen Corace is an energetic book about a killdeer chick newly burst from his egg. Excited and exuberant about the world around him and delighted in the remarkable things his body can do, this little chick races through the story with all the self-love and wonder of a toddler. Ink and watercolor illustrations match the zest of this soft-feathered character.
- I Hatched! Written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Jen Corace. Published by Dial, 2014. ISBN: 978-0803736887
Early Bird, written and illustrated by Toni Yuly, follows a little bird as she wakes up before dawn, hungry and ready for breakfast. The straightforward storyline emphasizes action as she searches for a meal. Line drawings, simple shapes, and vibrant colors are visually appealing and just right for little chicks.
- Early Bird written and illustrated by Toni Yuly. Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2014. ISBN: 978-1250043276
Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog & Instruction Manual written and illustrated by Kate Samworth, is a satirical look at a future without birds. With no birds left in the wild, Aviary Wonders has been offering customers the opportunity to create their own living bird since 2031. The “catalog” offers a variety of handcrafted bird parts – bodies, beaks, tails, feathers and more. A strong ecological message that is darkly funny.
- Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog & Instruction Manual written and illustrated by Kate Samworth. Published by Clarion Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-0547978994
Feathers: Not Just For Flying, written by Melissa Sweet and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen, introduces 16 species of birds from around the world, and it does so through the marvels of their feathers. From sun protection to bird decoration to thirst quencher, this picture book shows young naturalists some of the surprising things feathers can do. The scrapbook format, life-sized watercolor illustrations, and scientific facts blend together to create a unique primer.
- Feathers: Not Just For Flying written by Melissa Sweet and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Published by Charlesbridge, 2014. ISBN: 978-1580894302
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cheli has been involved with creative arts and education for most of her life, and has taught many subjects from art and books to yoga and zoology. But she has a special fondness for kid’s books, and has worked in the field for more than 20 years. She is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Valley Kids and teaches a course for adults in “Writing for Children.” She writes from Colrain, where she lives with her musician-husband, three children, and shelves full of kid’s books.