My older girls have been fascinated by the huge flocks of small birds that stay here in the south during the winter. One day as we were going to town (which takes us about twenty minutes) we all watched in wonder as this HUGE flock of birds burst off the ground and flew for miles along with us. There must have been many thousands of birds, because the flock stretched thickly for literally miles, and we couldn't see the end of it. My girls watched them in silent awe the whole trip until we saw them turn and head in another direction. And of course they were full of questions. What made them gather together in such huge numbers? How did they decide where they were going? How could so many birds all in one place find enough to eat in winter? On and on the questions went. So we started looking into the answers. Along the way, of course, bird picture books caught their eye at the library. So here is our recent "bird" line-up of library books:
Written by Kevin Henkes
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Ages: 2 and up
Publisher: Harper Collins
A simple, appealing book about birds from an artistic, imaginative standpoint. The first part of the book talks about their physical characteristics in simple terms. The last half talks about them from a "what if.." point of view. For example:
"If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew,(The illustrations show bird "contrails" on that page.)
think what the sky would look like."
The illustrations are perfect for the text. They are bright, bold paintings that are almost child-like in their simplicity. My girls loved the book.
The Language of Doves
Written by Rosemary Wells
Illustrated by Greg Shed
Ages: 4 and up
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
On Julietta's sixth birthday, her grandfather gives her an Isabella dove, and tells her the story of his Isabella dove he was given as a boy and what became of her.
This was a good story. Very interesting, historically speaking, as well. (Don't forget to read the author's note at the front.) I love stories of children interacting with their grandparents. And I love the idea of passing on family stories. The illustrations are marvelous. Every picture glows with light, and feels like a snapshot of a memory.
Written by Lois Lowry
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Ages: 4 and up
Written by Donna Jo Napoli
Illustrated by Jim LaMarche