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BIRD REHEARSAL by Jonah Winter Kirkus Star


by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Stacy Innerst

Pub Date: May 14th, 2024
ISBN: 9781949480320
Publisher: Cameron Kids

An avian chorus whistles, caws, coos, and calls as day brightens and then fades.

In a set of luminously hued tableaux, a chorus of birdsong weaves between and around Innerst’s richly hued close-up portraits of robins and mourning doves, wrens, cardinals, mockingbirds, and over a dozen other common residents of urban and suburban trees and roosts. To go with art that rewards looking and then looking again, the all-birdsong narrative, read aloud, creates a kind of infectiously joyful mouth music: “TWEEDLE-DEE TOODLE-DO / TO-DE-REAR / POODLE-HOO.” “PERC-O-LATER PERC-O-LATER // Mine? Mine? Mine?” Here chickens cackle (“PLUCK PLUCK PLUCK AHHH”), there crows mob a silent hawk with a rapid barrage of caws; later on a mockingbird provides a quick medley as streetlights brighten. For the finale, the entire feathered company gathers for a grand coda. A closing who’s who invites readers and listeners to match headshots with the earlier images, and accompanying notes strike piquant chords: “The wren is a tiny bird with an enormous voice and almost no neck.” “Canada geese can make quite a mess—watch where you step!” “Like humans, crows feed on dead animals.”

Definitely for the birds, in a wonderful way.

(Informational picture book. 6-8)