A chatty chickadee introduces bird species standouts.
With characteristic humor and carefully crafted language, poet Bulion offers readers amazing facts about birds of our world. Poems and accompanying science notes describe 18 birds that excel in some fashion and explain what nearly all birds have in common; the first poem introduces her focus, and the last notes environmental threats. These engaging poems read aloud beautifully. Thoughtful word choices allow for repeated sounds and pleasing internal rhymes. Each is constructed according to a different pattern, described in the backmatter. Meganck’s digital illustrations reflect the humorous tone. The round eyes of his bird caricatures often stare directly at readers. An amusingly anthropomorphic chickadee, “the great communicator,” guides readers through the text from beginning to end, pointing out in speech bubbles those characteristics birds share with other species and three that are theirs alone: feathers, a furcula (wishbone), and syrinx (“a two-sided voice organ”). (The two unfamiliar words are defined in context.) Like any good teacher, this avian instructor summarizes and repeats at the end. From the tiny bee hummingbird in Cuba through the well-traveled Arctic tern to the familiar chickadee whose warnings many species understand, these record-breaking birds come from all over the world, and their special characteristics vary widely. Excellent resources for further bird study complete this delightful offering.
Entertaining and educational, a superlative package. (glossary, acknowledgements) (Informational poetry. 7-12)