A simple ornithological discourse for very young readers offers several examples of feathered non-verbal communication.
Over two dozen bird species—most, but not all, with North American ranges, and many fairly familiar—are shown communicating essential messages via calls, displays of plumage and other, less well-known behaviors. Birds from distant parts of the world may appear in the same opening describing behaviors that accomplish similar aims: wooing mates, camouflage, encouragement to fledglings, protection. Judge’s art is clear and understandable, as well as subtly funny, letting the birds speak for themselves. Her bright-eyed birds—in many cases both the male and female are shown—and briefly sketched surroundings against plenty of white space look natural, even as several of her subjects seem to twinkle expressively along with the humor in her clear, direct text. Some young listeners may be charmed into giggles by the “missiles of poop” launched by the Scandinavian fieldfare in an effort the keep predatory crows from their nests. Adult readers may enjoy reading about the Northern gannet, with its unique way of determining who goes fishing for food and who tends the nest. Further information about each of the species, including their habitats and ranges, appears on several pages at the back, along with a brief glossary and list of sources.
Delightfully straightforward and accessible. (Informational picture book. 3-8)