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BIRD BUILDS A NEST by Martin Jenkins


A First Science Storybook

by Martin Jenkins ; illustrated by Richard Jones

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9346-6
Publisher: Candlewick

A generic mother bird learns to conquer the forces of physics while going about her daily chores.

In an unusual take on the well-worn topic of birds and their nests, the common activities associated with feeding and nest-building are used to teach the science of force and gravity, albeit at a very elementary level. The preface encourages caregivers to discuss the law of motion, stating that “More force is needed to change the motion of heavier objects than to change the motion of lighter objects.” (Caregivers may find themselves searching for other words to make this clear to youngsters.) Furthermore, “Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the Earth, which makes things fall down when they are dropped.” Aspects of these principles are illustrated with somewhat dated-looking mixed-media pictures in a muddy color palette as the bird pulls worms out of the ground; struggles to find twigs light enough to carry; creates a nest with twigs, feathers, and grass; and finally lays five speckled eggs, out of which hatch baby birds. Five questions again address the physics illustrated in the story, asking about pushing, pulling, moving, and dropping.

A worthy, if somewhat forced, venture into multidisciplinary teaching for very young children that may require caregivers to do some heavy lifting of their own.

(index) (Informational picture book. 4-6)