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Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater – A Guest Post

EVERY DAY BIRDS
Written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Cut paper illustrations by Dylan Metrano
(Orchard Books/an imprint of Scholastic; $17.99, Ages 3-5)

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In Every Day Birds, rhyming text and cut paper illustrations make up this nonfiction picture book for the youngest bird enthusiasts. Twenty common North American birds are featured, one on each page, along with a simple fact. Featured birds include: the bluebird, the cardinal, the crow, the hummingbird, the robin, the sparrow, and more. Additional information can be found about each bird in the back of the book, along with an author’s note.

Both the author and the illustrator do an exceptional job bringing the birds we see every day to life in the pages of this book. VanDerwater’s deceptively simple, rhyming text flows brilliantly from page to page.

Opening Spread: “Every day we watch for birds weaving through our sky. We listen to their calls and songs. We like to see them fly.”

Metrano’s extraordinary layered cut paper illustrations bring each bird to the reader for a closer look. The art is colorful and full of detail, and is reminiscent of stained glass. Interesting textures abound throughout.

 

Interior artwork of owl from Every Day Birds

Text from Every Day Birds written by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater. Illustrations copyright 2016 by Dylan Metrano. Used with permission from Orchard Books/Scholastic.

 

In my opinion, you can never have too many bird books. Birds are a fascinating subject for young readers, so many shapes and sizes and, let’s not forget, the plethora of brilliant plumage colors. Though it’s important to introduce children to animals they may never see in person, it’s just as important to offer them more information about the birds they see every day in their own neighborhoods. Every Day Birds will help children develop a better understanding of and appreciation for the birds in their backyards.

  • Guest Review by author Lauri Fortino

My copy of Every Day Birds was an ARC and was obtained by a colleague who attended ALA, Boston. The final product may differ slightly. The publication date for Every Day Birds was February 23, 2016.

Guest reviewer, Lauri Fortino, wrote the picture book The Peddler’s Bed reviewed on Good Reads With Ronna here.

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Nest by Jorey Hurley

NEST by Jorey Hurley

“Newcomer Hurley lets her bright, clean illustrations do her storytelling … a handsome, disciplined debut.” —-Publishers Weekly

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Nest written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Nest, written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, $16.99, Ages 3-7) is reviewed today by Cathy Ballou Mealey.

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.

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Interior spread from Nest by Jorey Hurley, © Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

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.

 

 

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