themes: birds, family, don't give up
by Ann Ingalls; illus. by Rebecca Evans
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2019
Why should I walk? I can fly.
I've made up my mind to try.
A little bird. A big sky. And mama's nudging him out of the nest. This is a mistake - he's sure - why can't he fly like ... chickadees, for example. And not being able to fly puts him in danger!
What I like about this book: It's told in first person, from the baby Robin's point of view. Who knew first flight could be so scary? For sure, kids will identify with his timidity in embracing something so drastically different.
If the text doesn't get you soaring, the illustrations will. They are bursting with humor and do a wonderful job revealing the Robin's emotions. Maybe it was fated that Rebecca Evans create the art for this book - when she was a first grader she rescued two injured baby sparrows and helped them learn to fly.
I also like that there's back matter: a "fact or fiction?" page, some thoughts about teaching baby birds to fly, and STEM activities.
by Mya Thompson; illus. by Claudia Davila
36 pages; ages 3-7
Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2019
School's out. Mom and Dad are at work.
Ruby's home with grandma and Alex, the parrot. She's bored. But downstairs neighbor, Eva, asks if she wants to go to the park. They walk past the one with slides ... all the way to Central Park. To the woods, where Eva looks up and listens. Turns out that Eva's on a mission to find a Golden-winged warbler, and enlists Ruby's help.
What I like about this book: The birds that illustrator Claudia Davila sneaked onto each page - you have to search for them! I like that Ruby learns how to identify the warbler and shares her knowledge.
Of course, there is back matter! That's where you'll find more information about birds in the city. There's a handy list of birds that are in the book - birds you are likely to find in your town or city. And there's "Ruby's Tips for taking a nature walk"!
Beyond the Books:
Draw a Bird. It could be a robin (here's one way to draw a robin) or a pigeon (here's how to draw a pigeon like Mo Willems). Or you can download coloring pages from Why Should I Walk? to use as inspiration.
Learn more about the birds living in your town or city. Need info? Check out Celebrate Urban Birds and Feathered Friends for activities and identification.
Learn to identify birds by their songs and calls. Here's a "tweet cheat sheet" for Eastern Birds, and here's one for Western Birds - by amazing cartoonist, naturalist, and science writer Rosemary Mosco.
Take a close look at a feather. If you find feathers on the ground, spend some time looking at them. Draw their shape and color them. Try to figure out who lost a feather. The best way to examine a feather is to get a chicken feather or other feather from a craft store so you can spend time looking at it with a magnifying lens. Here's a feather activity guide. (note: it is illegal to collect and keep feathers you find on the ground. You can draw them and, if you have a hand lens with you, take a closer look at them.)
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copies provided by the publishers.