Children learn the many ways birds use their feet to find or catch food.
Angus presents seven birds that represent the diversity of feet found in the bird kingdom. Clever formatting gives readers the opportunity to guess each bird before a turn of the page reveals it in its habitat. “If you had long slender legs and toes, you could… // Wade like a heron to sneak up on a school of fish.” The first double-page spread shows a close-up of long yellow legs against the blue backdrop of a pond. The second pulls back to show the entire bird, an orange fish (reminiscent of a Goldfish cracker) in its long beak. Swans, a roadrunner, a woodpecker, cardinals, towhees, and an owl round out the cast. Backmatter provides additional facts about the species and a “Fun Foot Fact” for each; a section about adaptations that includes a chart of birds along with their habitats, feet, and beaks; a few activity ideas; bird-watching tips; and a resource list. Angus’ paper-collage illustrations are vibrantly colored and employ variously patterned and textured papers to highlight the birds, their habitats, and/or the other animals around them (each of the seven is pictured with a predator in the background). Marbled water, downy swan chicks, tree bark—all are vivid and arresting.
Paired with a book about beaks, this is sure to start many youngsters on the road to becoming avid bird-watchers. (Informational picture book. 3-7)