Rita Gray and Kenard Pak
2014 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I love discovering new children's books, especially seasonal ones. With spring comes the return of resident birds, singing happy bird songs and building nests for their families. In Have You Heard the Nesting Bird, two young children explore nature and observe different birds along the way.
Each page has just a few words (sometimes less is more) and shows a different bird along with text of it's bird song - Mourning Doves - coah, cooo, cooo, coooo; Woodpecker (pecking on a tree- cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk, cuk; the Starling singing from a metal pole - whistle--ee--wee--tree. They children notice and wonder why there is no sound heard from the nesting bird.
Continuing their nature journey they see sparrows, swallows, crows, cardinals, chickadees, catbirds, blue jays, whip-poor-wills and a woodthrush. Each bird is beautifully drawn and the children learn more bird sounds. One day our little nature lovers hear a tapping and cracking sound coming from the previously quiet nest, and a few days later sounds and activity coming from the nest-- babies have arrived.
What a beautiful book to help little ones experience the simple joys of nature. The artwork by Kenard Pak is so well done and realistic. The earth tones selected were perfect, with just occasional pops of color especially with the robins and cardinals. I loved that there were educational Questions and Answers at the back of the book, called "A Word With the Bird" that asks questions of the mother and father robin. For example: Why are they so quiet in the nest? What is the role of the father robin? What should you do if you fins a bird sitting in their nest? What happens to the babies once they leave the nest, plus several more useful Q/A's. This would make for great discussions with parent/child or preschool teacher and students.
This is truly a beautiful book - a terrific addition for libraries and parents of little ones. (Ages 4+) - Buy It! - 5/5 stars