HOW BEAUTIFUL Written by Antonella Capetti Illustrated by Melissa Castrillón (Greystone Kids; $17.95; Ages 4-8)…
NEST by Jorey Hurley
“Newcomer Hurley lets her bright, clean illustrations do her storytelling … a handsome, disciplined debut.” —-Publishers Weekly
Although the view from my window is still a frozen, icy snowscape, yesterday I saw two brown robins flitting in and out of the bare branches on my forsythia bush. Too early, friends! I thought, but I remain hopeful that their appearance means spring will soon arrive.
Nest is the perfect book to lure young readers into noticing and appreciating this first sign of spring, the arrival of the American Robin. Matte, bold illustrations draw us immediately into the life cycle of a robin family from nest to egg to bird. Featuring just one word of text per page allows plenty of time to attend to the action at hand, whether hatch, fly, feast or snuggle.
Hurley reserves the perfect shade of blue for the robins’ egg, which appears only twice in the book but rolls gloriously across the endpapers. The bird family poses against backgrounds of lush green leaves, pale beige daylight, and pink rosy dawn. Rain and snow, sun and moon, and even the wind play significant roles in the ever-changing natural landscape.
The storyline of Nest is scant but familiar; family, home, seasons, and nature. But don’t be lulled by the simplicity of the text – the illustrations in Nest have a powerful pull that will lead you to flip through the book again and again. Poring over the pages reveals subtle textures, dimensions and details that enrich every image.
For readers eager to know more, the author’s note at the end provides interesting supplemental information about the American Robin.
– Reviewed by Cathy Ballou Mealey
Where obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher and received no other compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.