A birding primer and rhyming introduction to 20 familiar birds.
Poet and nature lover VanDerwater opens her introduction with four lines that invite a young audience to join her explorations: “Every day we watch for birds / weaving through our sky. / We listen to their calls and songs. / We like to see them fly.” She goes on to introduce 20 North American birds, representing common groups, with well-formed rhyming couplets. Each bird is presented on a single page along with one memorable characteristic: “NUTHATCH perches upside-down”; “GOOSE flies in a V.” She’s chosen birds preschoolers are likely to notice, birds they’ll encounter outside their windows and in their yards—chickadees, cardinals, and sparrows—and birds they might see on trips to parks and beaches—hawks, herons, gulls. Throughout, and appropriately for her very young audience, she’s used a single word to name the bird: jay for blue jay, finch for a goldfinch. Metrano’s bold cut-paper illustrations show identifiable birds in appropriate poses against a clean, solid-color background, with just a hint of their likely habitat. This inviting introduction concludes with the poem as a whole and additional facts about each bird family next to thumbnail reproductions of each image.
Beginning birding at its best, this pleasing presentation is ideal for families with preschoolers but would work well for storytime, too. (Informational picture book. 2-5)