A debut picture book introduces concepts of Aristotelian logic that can help children learn how to better define the inhabitants and aspects of their world.
Beginning with the title words and a detailed illustration of a mother duck with her ducklings, this tale examines two groups: ducks and birds. On the next page, accompanied by the image of a honking goose so lifelike the reader can almost hear it, author and illustrator Zrinski writes: “All geese are birds, / but, no geese are ducks.” She continues that swans are also birds but not ducks, using this example to clarify the concept before moving on to something more complex: all of those birds can fly, but does that mean all birds have that ability? Savvy young readers will already know the answer and should be pleased that they’re correct when they see the cheerful-looking, earthbound ostriches on the next page. Zrinski then points out that all birds have feathers, including penguins (who also cannot fly), and asks readers to compare penguins and puffins, who look similar—they’re black and white—but are quite distinct. After establishing that some birds can fly and others can’t in her amusing story, Zrinski looks at whether they all can swim, given that so many of the creatures mentioned are swimmers. But not ostriches! (“No! Ostriches do not swim / Some ostriches sit in puddles / Sitting in puddles is not swimming.”) Yet all birds lay eggs. By offering all of these concrete details and asking children to think about how the birds relate to one another using an approachable, kid-friendly vocabulary, the text will likely have independent and lap readers and parent-child teams eagerly answering Zrinski’s questions and making their guesses and comparisons about these feathered friends. Parents may see how such assessments teach children to consider the big picture, comparing not just birds, but other animals or, beyond that, shapes, genres of fiction, or social groups. The application is far-ranging, but children may learn the building blocks from sheer enjoyment rather than considering these useful points formal lessons.
With wonderfully realistic colored-pencil images and a kid-friendly text, this highly entertaining tale explores the notion of groups, showing the attributes of different types of birds.