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BIRDS by Caroline Arnold


Nature’s Magnificent Flying Machines

by Caroline Arnold & illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

Age Range: 6 - 11

Pub Date: July 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-57091-516-4
Publisher: Charlesbridge

A terrific example of the best sort of science book for young readers, this focuses on one aspect of birds, their ability to fly, and examines it from all angles. We see how a bird’s flight is related to its anatomy—long wings are good for soaring, for example, while short, rounded wings are good for fast turns—and how that anatomy is also related to the bird’s habitat and lifestyle. Ruffled grouses don’t need to soar; albatrosses do. This form-follows-function argument allows readers to extrapolate beyond the book, and more fully understand birds they might see on their own. The detailed, vibrant illustrations enhance and enliven the text; they and the lovely clear layout make this book a delight for the eye. A winner. (Nonfiction. 6-11)