To keep their chicks and eggs safe, different bird species make different nests.
For the youngest readers or listeners, this album shows a wide variety of nests sheltering eggs and chicks. On the copyright page, a black-capped chickadee flies with nesting material; at the end of the book, chicks emerge to walk, ride, or fly. Garland selects a variety of bird species from around the globe, guaranteeing that most readers will find some birds they recognize and others that feel exotic. A mourning dove nests in an old boot; ospreys, storks, and eagles seek nesting places high up; and ostriches, flamingos, and Australian pelicans make theirs directly on the ground. Basket nests hang from tree limbs, rest on branches, or cover a whole treetop (a kind of bird apartment house). A brown-headed cowbird takes advantage of someone else’s nest. From the nesting mute swan and cygnets on the title page to the common loon in the water, chicks riding on her back, on the last, Garland's digital art uses scanned wood textures to mimic woodcuts. It will show well to a group. Birds are clearly labeled by common name and by sex where they obviously differ. Species are colored appropriately, the eggs less carefully, but the nests—the focus of this pleasing introduction—are reasonably accurate. The simple narrative arc, from nest-building to the beginnings of chick independence, is appropriate for the youngest readers, and the sense of wonder is palpable.
Eggs-actly right for a nature-themed storytime. (Informational picture book. 3-7)