Another title in this author-illustrator’s charming I Spy… series (I Spy on the Farm, 2013, etc.), this time featuring some easily identifiable, recognizable avians and some perhaps not so much.
The series’ familiar, child-friendly format is maintained: A die-cut “spy hole” on the right-hand page of each spread (and also incised on front and back covers) offers a tantalizing glimpse of the featured creature. In this instance, what’s revealed is a portion of the wing of a colorful denizen of the skies. Each left-hand page allows a peek at the particular bird’s own eye. With clues provided about each bird, such as coloration, eating habits or flight, young readers have opportunities to guess and to learn simple facts about birds at the same time: “I spy with my little eye… / something with black feathers and big wings.” “My head can change color,” adds the bird, which is revealed to be a condor with the turn of the page. Gibbs’ digital illustrations are bold and crisply outlined, dramatic in their up-close views and, depending on the bird in question, vividly colored; vague hints of natural settings are shown. On the final page, children are challenged with the question, “What can you spy with your little eye?”
Fun to use with preschoolers and younger elementary students in storytimes and as a springboard to encouraging children to observe their environments more closely. (Picture book. 3-6)