A glossy introduction to birds that loosely groups the 20 orders of living birds into seven chapters: ""Ground and Game Birds,"" ""Seabirds,"" ""Waterbirds and Cranes,"" ""Wading Birds,"" ""Owls and Birds of Prey,"" ""Birds of the Trees and Masters of the Air,"" and ""Songbirds."" Within each chapter Johnson provides an introductory page on how the birds live, boxes illustrating typical beaks and feet, and a chart of the main families. She then devotes a few spreads to a ""catalog of birds"": Six or seven colored boxes each contain a drawing (not to scale) of a bird with a sentence or two about it, its scientific name, size, and place of origin. Focus sections in each chapter attempt to look in greater detail at particular groups. The index offers access to the birds only by their common names. The full-color illustrations and photos, in a variety of styles, lack the cohesion and detail Richard Orr brought to Barbara Taylor's superior The Bird Atlas (1993); this production is handsome but superficial.