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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sweep Up the Sun, written by Helen Frost, with photographs by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2015. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"Spread your feathers,
sweep up the sun,

ride the wind and explore.

Take off in a new direction -
sweep and soar."

As they did so beautifully in Step Gently Out (Candlewick, 2012), Helen Frost and Rick Lieder bring their impressive talents to a new book focused on many common North American birds. Once again,  Ms. Frost has written one poem. Mr. Lieder's arresting close-ups provide a brilliant accompaniment to her lyrical words.

Most of the birds are in flight; the theme of the book, once again, is to provide encouragement for her young audience to get outside and see their world with new and focused eyes. Exploration is sadly lacking for so many children today. The beauty of the photographs begins with the front endpapers ... two tiny robins begging for food. Our robins are back in Manitoba; hopefully, it won't be long until they are nest building and family rearing.

Ms. Frost encourages those reading this gorgeous book to spread their wings, take careful risks and 'fly'. In back matter, the 11 birds shown so elegantly are described in detailed paragraphs. A visit to the backyard, some close observation might just be the ticket to a new pursuit ... birding. What joy awaits!



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