By Guest Blogger Dudley Carlson
discretely named, for those who want to jump right into identification. End papers show a quirky variety of nests, eggs, and birdhouses, while the back of the book provides several helpful websites and detailed suggestions for getting started.
In the pandemic’s period of restricted activities, watching birds from a window, in the yard or on a neighborhood walk can be an exciting way for children to discover a new world. This is a book for the story circle or the child in your lap, or for an older sibling to read to a younger one. And once the doors are opened again, they’ll be ready for wider exploration and discovery.
A good companion for somewhat older siblings is Pamela Hickman’s Nature All Around: Birds. Like Ward’s book, this one is in picture book format, with multiple impressionistic but identifiable illustrations by Carolyn Gavin on each page, blocks of text, and plenty of white space. Its thirty-two pages pack in a surprising amount of detailed information about the parts, life cycles, habitats, and survival tactics of a wide variety of birds.
Together, these two books provide a perfect starting point for young birders – and, for parents or caregivers, helpful answers to some of the many questions that will arise once they’re outdoors.
SFBBO member Dudley Carlson, a biologist’s daughter, grew up in a family of birders and was Manager of Youth Services at Princeton (NJ) Public Library for 25 years. She believes that if children enjoy learning about birds and understand how important they are to our environment, then birds, nature and people will have a better chance at a healthy future. You can see all of Dudley's book recommendations here.
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