IT'S ABOUT BIRDS by May Garelick


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As Garelick's opening sentence notes, ""About 90 thousand different kinds of birds live in different places in the world""--which pretty much states the problem for any short, easy introduction to birds in general. Early on, Garelick deals with the diversity fairly well, noting why different birds are different colors, how different beaks are adapted for different jobs, etc. Similarly, her question-and-answer format (guided by kids' real questions at an elementary school she visited--a dubious approach) helps her get around some problems in organization and allows her to answer with both generalizations and a few indicative examples of nest building, child-rearing, etc. But the method breaks down when her only answer to such questions as ""How Do They Know When It's Time [to migrate]"" and ""How Do They Find Their Way Home"" is that no one knows; and in some answers she ignores her own questions. Under ""Were There Always Birds?"" she says that they were around in dinosaur times but not how they evolved, and to ""Will There Always Be Birds?"" she points merely to the existence of sanctuaries. It's an attractive book and the writing is smooth and simple, but the content is disappointingly vaporous after all.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1978
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston