THE BIRDWATCHERS by Simon James

THE BIRDWATCHERS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This gentle, intergenerational story successfully conveys in a simple and authentic voice a granddaughter’s first birding experience. Grandfather claims: “When I go birdwatching, things happen,” and “ . . . when I make drawings of the birds, sometimes they make drawings of me, too,” or “ . . . sometimes the birds help me when I can’t find their names in my bird book.” What her grandfather tells her is hard to believe, so Jess decides to go along. At first she sees nothing, but finally, she is rewarded with a full panorama of winged creatures. When Grandfather asks her favorite part about her birdwatching venture, as a quick study, she can tell a story of her own: “I liked best when the dancing penguins came and shared my sandwich.” The line-and-wash drawings are a perfect pairing with the text, creating a seamless flow of story to illustration. The warmth of the autumn sun creates amber tones of luscious fall foliage that fill the pages and convey the grandeur of nature, which dwarfs the humans and birds inhabiting each setting. The grandfather’s love of birdwatching and the pleasure of sharing this passion with his granddaughter, coupled with the frustration of the novice birder who can’t spot a bird, rings true to anyone facing a new challenge, especially a child. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1676-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2002




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