Photographs of 50 birds, one or a pair per page, represent bird species from varying geographic areas and habitats.
The birds range from common North American species such as finches and sparrows to more exotic or remote species, including blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galápagos hawks, Megallenic penguins, and sulphur-crested cockatoos. While the photographs are striking and serve to illustrate the range of species of birds on the Earth, the pages do not provide enough information to engage. The book begins with a few insipid lines in large type, presumably intended to appeal to beginning readers, “All birds have wings. But not all fly. Some birds swim. Others try.” Each successive page shows one bird, usually identified by a single word and an adjective, sometimes alliterative but sometimes not. The birds are not precisely identified by species or location of origin; this leads to confusion when two birds of the same family but different species are shown and only one is identified, as in “spotted towhee” and “towhee.” The descriptive adjective often seems arbitrary, not unique to that bird: “Spry Sparrow”; “Mysterious Mallard.” This book appears to be a vehicle for the author’s photography, with education a lower priority.
Unable to compete with the many strong bird books available for children. (Informational picture book. 3-6)