by Jane Yolen & Heidi Stemple; illus. by Melissa Sweet
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2015
theme: bedtime, family, home, nature
Pigeons nest on concrete ledges,
Catbirds nest in greening hedges,
Tiny wrens, in shoreline sedges.
You nest here with me.
From grackles to eagles, plovers to killdeer, Yolen and Stemple describe different places that birds nest in spot-on rhyme. They end each stanza: "You nest here with me". Combine that with Sweet's gorgeous illustrations and you've got a book that you'll want to read every night.
- The birds ~ such a diversity of species and nest types
- Introduction of new words: tor
- Diversity of habitat
- Unlovely birds ~ cowbirds, for example
- Repetition ~ You nest here with me
- A feeling of safety
- Spot-on illustrations
- Texture~ you can almost feel the twigs
- Vibrant color
- Back matter! (everyone knows I love back matter)
Beyond the book activities: Build a bird nest. Go outside and gather materials that you think a bird might use in making a nest. You might find twigs,dead grass, fur or feathers, mosses, lichens, pine needles, and mud. Now try constructing a nest. How does it compare to the real thing? Find out by...
... going outside on a nest hunt. Take your journal and a camera along, because you might want to take some photos of how birds have built their nests - and jot notes about what you discover. This time of year you're likely to find old nests, unless you live where birds have already started their spring construction projects. Take a good look at where the nests are placed. Will they be well-hidden when leaves cover the trees? How high are they from the ground? And are the birds using all natural materials? Or have they incorporated bits of man-made stuff?
Help your backyard and neighborhood birds out. Give them some nesting materials - but choose things that are natural and degrade (not plastic or foil). Drape bits of string, thread, yarn, or natural fiber fabric over trees and shrubs. Or loosely fill a suet cage with strips of newspaper, broom bristles, mop strings and other natural things that could be used for a nest. Then hang it where birds will find it.
Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy from the publisher.