HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD? by Rita Gray
Kirkus Star

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD?

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two children wander through the countryside listening to calls of common birds and wonder why the nesting robin alone does not make a sound.

The calls of common birds—mourning dove, woodpecker, starling, sparrow, swallow, crow, cardinal, chickadee, catbird, blue jay, the onomatopoeic whippoorwill and wood thrush—are notated with pleasing accuracy, well enough to allow a child to identify them in nature, even as the children in the book encounter them. Finally, sounds of tapping, cracking and breaking shells emanate from the robin’s nest. Cheeping and peeping are heard, and the long silence is broken by the newborn baby robins. The male robin’s song is sweetly transcribed as “Cheerily, cheer up! My tree makes syrup! Syrup so sweet!” This charming and unusual nature story contributes something new to the overstuffed field of bird-related picture books. Gray’s simple rhymes and accurate bird calls are attractively complemented by Pak’s textured watercolor-resist illustrations in soft greens, browns and grays. Each bird is humorously but accurately depicted. A final “Word with the Bird” in Q-and-A format explains in detail why the robin is silent while hatching her eggs and answers many other useful questions, including the role of the father bird and what happens to the babies after they leave the nest.

As welcome as the robin in springtime. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-544-10580-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2014




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