Though different from humans in many ways, birds do many things people do.
Heos offers young readers and listeners a humorous way to make connections with the world of birds. Birds learn songs through baby talk and create varied sound effects. They try to attract their mates with fancy dancing. They build and decorate comfortable homes. Parents protect, feed, and clean up after their babies. (The intended audience may particularly enjoy the description of penguin crop milk—a regurgitated meal—and the idea that some birds eat their chicks’ fecal sacs.) They teach their chicks important skills. Many birds travel long distances. And they’re social, even having conversations as human beings do. The specific examples come from a wide range of bird species. They appear to have been chosen for their likely kid appeal rather than to reveal common bird behaviors. Some are behaviors that have only occasionally been observed or been observed only in captivity. This collection of far-fetched facts has been illustrated with a combination of photographs and caricatures of googly-eyed birds, sometimes engaged in human activities. A similar compilation, Just Like Us! Ants, is being published simultaneously.
Light entertainment—a laudable attempt to connect the animal world to our human one, but it relies too much on anthropomorphization to make its point. (Informational picture book. 5-8)