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BRING ON THE BIRDS by Susan Stockdale


by Susan Stockdale & illustrated by Susan Stockdale

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56145-560-7
Publisher: Peachtree

Over rhyming captions that only occasionally exceed three or four words, Stockdale presents painted portraits of 21 wild birds. Portrayed in a flat graphic style and, mostly, in frozen motion against simplified natural settings, each—from great horned owl and blue-footed booby to Adelie penguin, ostrich and broad-tailed hummingbird—is large and easily visible on the page, rendered with clear hues and sharp color borders likely to draw and hold the attention even of unfledged young viewers. The images are often mesmerizing in their abstraction, inviting readers to pause and admire. A flock of red-billed oxpeckers is arrayed on a slope that readers may take a few beats to recognize as the neck of a giraffe; the white-tailed ptarmigans look at first like just a few snowdrifts. The author links her gallery together with the concluding note that “Dull or dazzling colors, / long or little legs. / All of them have feathers, / and all are hatched from eggs,” then identifies each bird in a closing key with one or two sentences of descriptive commentary. Broader in geographical range and even simpler in design, this makes a natural follow-up to Lois Ehlert’s Feathers for Lunch (1990) as a primary introduction to our avian cousins. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 2-4)