Thursday, April 26, 2012

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge 2012: Birds

I've gotten behind on highlighting some of the books I share at school in the library.  Today I'm sharing four books about birds that I shared with my kindergarteners a couple of weeks ago.  The students enjoyed them and I enjoyed sharing them.

written and illustrated by Tim Jessell
Random House, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86866-5
Grades K-3
Reviewed from personal copy.
Summary comes from Goodreads.

A young boy imagines what it would be like to fly as a falcon and see the world from on high. Soaring through the skies, he describes the sights and sounds of the world below. From snow-capped mountains to lush valleys, over rolling ocean and up rocky cliffs, Falcon will awaken the senses of every reader.

I knew I had to get this the minute I saw the gorgeous cover.  The theme also grabbed me from the first time I heard it.  The book did not disappoint.  I thoroughly enjoyed sharing this book with students and highlighting the power of imagination to take us places we could not otherwise go. This book also does a great job with perspective, looking at the falcon from various angles.  Sometimes the reader sees things from the falcon's viewpoint and sometimes from the viewpoint of bystanders both human and animal.  A great book for sharing the wonder of the natural world and the power of imagination. 

written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Greenwillow Books, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-136304-7
Grades K-3
Reviewed from personal copy.
Summary comes from Goodreads.

Vibrant and lively paintings accompany a simple text, in this new picture book by a celebrated husband-and-wife team. With a fine eye for detail, a little girl describes birds--their sizes, shapes, colors, the way they move, and how they are most like her. 

A fabulous book about birds and what makes them unique.  This makes for a great introduction to birds and their similarities and differences.  I also like the way the author uses imagination to look at birds and their world in different ways.  This book uses fabulous imagery in helping readers see birds in different ways.  A great book for encouraging students to see things in creative ways.

written by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill
Peachtree Publishers, 1997
ISBN: 978-1-56145-147-0
Grades K-2
Reviewed from personal copy.
Summary comes from Goodreads.

A simple and colorful introduction to birds and bird behavior, accompanied by beautifully detailed illustrations from noted wildlife illustrator John Sill.

The description for this book says it all better than I can.  This book provides a great introduction to birds and the similarities and differences between different kinds of birds.  Great for teaching or just browsing.  The illustrations are beautiful and compliment the simple text perfectly.  I will definitely be looking for more books by this pair.

written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale
Peachtree Publishers, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56145-560-7
Reviewed from personal copy.
Summary comes from the book blurb.

Birds come in all sorts of interesting shapes, sizes, and colors and many of them can do amazing things as well. Can you imagine...

Dancing birds,
Diving birds,
Hanging birds,
Hiding birds...

They're all real!

In her latest book, noted author-illustrator Susan Stockdale introduces young readers to both exotic and familiar birds in energetic rhyming text. The bright, bold colors and crisp, clean lines of Stockdale's birds, depicted in their natural habitats, can't help but grab your attention. An afterword identifies each animal and tells a little bit about it and where it lives.

I love the poetry and rhythm of this title.  The words flow beautifully (see summary above).  It was fun discussing this book with the students.  It was a fun way to see what kinds of birds the students were familiar with.  It was entertaining to see the students reaction to some of the more extravagantly colored species (such as the Toucan on the cover).  The acrylic illustrations provide the perfect touch, not to simple but not so detailed to distract from the birds themselves.

I highly recommend all these books for both reading pleasure and classroom interaction.


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