A say-along, sing-along invitation introduces the art of birding by ear through simple, recognizable bird songs and sounds and, mostly, familiar birds.
From the “Cheery up? Cheerio!” of the robin to the “tap, tap, tap” of the downy woodpecker, each spread includes a common phonetic description of a bird’s sound (“Oh Sweet Canada”; “Who cooks for you”; “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee”) and where and when the bird might be found. Spare illustrations accurately show the birds and something of their environments: a yellow warbler on a cattail, a mallard in a pond, a house sparrow on a brick wall. Many of the birds are familiar daytime visitors to backyards and parks; young readers are less likely to encounter nocturnal singers like the barred owl, whip-poor-will and woodcock. A few are specifically northern or eastern. The Anna’s hummingbird is only found on the Pacific coast, but its sound and appearance are not too unlike its eastern ruby-throated counterpart. Further information is included in the backmatter, where readers will find a description of the male woodcocks’ dance and the advice to “pinch your nose shut” while imitating the call of the white-breasted nuthatch. There are also suggestions for other birding activities.
For fostering nature awareness, this is a welcome companion to the author’s previous titles about noisy bugs and noisy frogs. (Informational picture book. 4-9)