Yolen and her three children celebrate birds with a lavishly illustrated compendium of facts, photographs, and poetry.
This lovingly compiled collection begins with a lengthy section of articles describing birds, their anatomy, and their nests, and it ends with suggestions for attracting birds to your backyard. In between are chapters about prehistoric birds (dinosaurs), birds in history, state birds (each with a full-page photograph and two fast facts), listening to birds, looking at birds, bird migration, saving species, bird records, birds in the arts and in story, and citizen science. The authors of each text piece, song, and poem are identified in the backmatter; photo credits show that these splendid images come from around the world. There’s even a list of the scientific names of the birds in order of their appearance in the text. Dedicated to Yolen’s husband and the Stemples’ father, David Stemple, an ardent birder and bird-song recordist, this oversized volume is a treat to look at and to read. It includes a list of films to watch (“Birds are notoriously difficult to train to perform on stage or screen”), nicely retold myths and fables from around the world (with a map), two Audubon paintings, and carefully crafted poems including one about flock names. As is characteristic of National Geographic publications, the plentiful photographs are well-chosen and beautifully reproduced.
A treasure for browsers and bird lovers everywhere. (authors’ notes, acknowledgements, find out more, index) (Nonfiction. 8-adult)