skip to Main Content

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)

every-day-birds-cvr

 

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.

Share this:

Killer Poems

Take a midnight stroll through Amen Creature Corners and glimpse what’s carved on the animals’ headstones.

Ronna Mandel wants to get your youngsters hyped up for Halloween with her  review of Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs ($16.95, Charlesbridge, ages 7-10) by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen with ilustrations by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. 

I know what you’re thinking. Bizarre, morbid. Maybe. But I love this kind of offbeat picture book that is often ever so subtly humorous and other times outright in your face. Either way, the variety of the verses are clever and catchy and the gray-toned artwork is moody and evocative with the occasional smidgen of scarlet. Look closely, too, or you might miss some very funny touches Timmins has tossed in to keep you on your toes as you walk amongst the tombstones. Whether the creatures have been crushed, fallen ill or been struck while crossing the street (see page 6 Chicken Crosses Over), the myriad methods of demise are as hysterical as the epitaphs!

I have a feeling this kind of original and whacky poetry book might just tickle a few funny bones and get more than a few kids eager to try their hand at a few epitaphs this fall. With a chill in the autumn air, it’s really the right time of year to nurture all those budding Edgar Allan Poes. 

Here’s a brief sample of a few of my faves:

Good-bye to a Rowdy Rooster

Too cocky by far,
he head-butted a car. 

Flickering Moth

Here lies a moth
without a name,
who lived by the fire
and died by the flame. 

Share this:

Life in The Ocean

A New York Times best-selling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator take you down deep for a look at life below the waves. Reviewed today by Karen Estrada.

In the Sea ($16.99, Candlewick, ages 3-5), David Elliot’s companion volume to his books On the Farm and In the Wild, is a stunning and educational glimpse into the creatures of the ocean deep. Holly Meade’s magnificent woodcut illustrations are reflective of the ever undulating world beneath the sea’s surface; the often bold, sometimes fierce, images of sea life juxtaposed against the soft shades of their ocean habitat reminded me of days I spent scuba diving off the coast of Thailand where the vibrant colors of sea life stand out against a muted palette of blue-green hues. Meade’s illustrations are nothing short of art—images I would happily purchase and frame to hang in my child’s room.

If only for the illustrations, this book is worth purchasing, but let’s not discount the enlightening poetry of David Elliot who offers descriptions of both familiar sea creatures, such as the Shark, and those less likely to appear in a children’s book, like the Mackerel or Chambered Nautilus. Using a variety of poetic styles imposed over Meade’s captivating illustrations, Elliot gives children a keen insight into the characteristics, lives, and habits of twenty creatures of the sea. The vocabulary Elliot employs in his poetry often surpasses that of a young child, using words like “apparition” and “belligerent,” which deepens the educational opportunities this book has to offer. I had no idea what a turtle’s “carapace” was until I looked it up; even I learned something from reading this remarkable book. David Elliot’s poetry and Holly Meade’s illustrations in In the Sea pair together swimmingly to depict the often enigmatic nature of sea life in a book that I will return to again and again.

Share this:
Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: