For the Birds
Spring is here, and it has me thinking about birds. They wake me up in the morning with their songs, keep me company in my backyard, and even keep my cat entertained as they visit our window birdfeeder.
One of the things that draws me to birds is their amazing diversity; the colors of their feathers, their wildly varying shapes and sizes, their calls, and so much more. Here are a few new picture books that celebrate birds.
Geraldo Valerio uses collage as the medium to showcase a variety of North American birds. The big (Golden Eagle, American White Pelican) to the small (Marsh Wren, Black-throated Warbler) are showcased here. Along with the vibrant and whimsical collage illustrations, there are scientific names and informational paragraphs about each bird. This title is an eye-catching and fun introduction to some common North American species.
My informal rule is that any book with bathroom humor in the title is going to be a hit with the youngsters (and me). The Real Poop on Pigeons is definitely a hit with me! While many people view pigeons as pests, this book looks to inform readers about and celebrate pigeons.
There are lots of fun facts here, presented in a graphic format, so reluctant readers will think this book is great. Detailed illustrations of many different breeds are shown, as well as interesting facts on topics such as breeding, anatomy, and raising of their young.
Readers just might find that there is much, much more to pigeons than poop!
So, this title won’t so much teach kids about specific birds, as the other titles mentioned here do, but it does help children focus on the diversity of birds and what makes a bird, a bird. A simple, rhyming cadence accompanies bold, mosaic-like illustrations of birds. The different shapes and sizes of birds are shown, and while the main idea here is for readers to have fun with the rhymes and enjoy the vibrant illustrations, there is a serious portion at the end that makes the reader think about whether it is right to keep a bird caged.