An Eastern bluebird recounts the first year of her life.
Again relying on his own backyard observations as well as credited experts, Meisel offers a follow-up to his much-admired My Awesome Summer, by P. Mantis (2017). This description of a bluebird’s life is straightforward in its content but versatile in its presentation. What might ordinarily be backmatter, appropriate for a relatively advanced reader, comes first: a spread offering a general description of the species illustrated with images of male and female birds and their foods, along with the map to show the range. The rest of the text is just right for beginners. Short, dated journal entries are set on appealing acrylic paintings of the birds and their surroundings. Working through the year from E. Bluebird’s birthday in June to the hatching of her own chicks the following summer, the author/illustrator describes important stages: a blind beginning, feeding and pooping in the nest, the first scary flight, the joy of flying, migration south and back up north, finding a mate, building a nest, and laying eggs of her own. Actual backmatter includes a short glossary and suggestions for further learning or doing. Less informative overall than Pamela F. Kirby’s photo essay What Bluebirds Do (2009), this is more accessible for beginners, with its simple vocabulary, short sentences, and first-person narrative. The pair would complement each other nicely on a nature shelf.
For fledgling readers, another appreciation of the natural world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)