Sound clips enhance first introductions to a dozen common North American birds.
The gallery is packaged as a board book flanked by a double row of pressure-activated pictorial “buttons” that trigger the sound clips. The book features close-up photo portraits of individual adult birds, usually in side views with beaks open, placed into photographed or painted natural settings. The accompanying nature notes on habits and habitats also offer observations on each bird’s characteristic call or calls—and if descriptive references to the robin’s “clear tuneful refrain” or the house finch’s “complicated burbling song” aren’t particularly helpful for identification, pushing the relevant adjacent button produces several seconds of illustrative audio. In actual use, beginning bird-watchers in particular may have trouble distinguishing some of the chirpier recorded calls, and with just 12 examples, this can’t compete with electronic resources for scope. Still, the sounds and selected facts may spark an interest in venturing out into the backyard “wild” to glimpse some of its avian residents.
A “trilling” way to bring natural history into the nursery. (replaceable batteries) (Informational novelty. 5-10)