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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Every Day Birds, written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Dylan Metrano. Orchard Books, Scholastic. 2016. $21.99 ages 2 and up


You can feel the rhythm of the words in that short entry, can't you?

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's newest book of poetry for children is the perfect introduction for little ones to 20 North American birds. Admittedly, kids in Manitoba may not see each and every one of them; most will be familiar if they have done any bird watching, and have shown an interest in what they are seeing.

Her book opens with an invitation to join the author on a typically observant day. Each following page introduces a bird we may know and one observable (or known) characteristic. Most are birds that we can point out, or that a little one might notice on their own as they search skies and yards for avian visitors. The settings vary, as do the birds.

Dylan Metrano shows each clearly in striking cut paper images. Readers even get a sense of personality in the tiny glimpses of those birds included in the text. To end this winning introduction, the author repeats the poem in its entirety, and follows it up with a note from the author:

"Each day offers new treasures, right outside of any home, classroom, or office window. In city streets, on cul-de-sacs, peppering country skies, birds are here: flashing wings, singing songs, making nests from scraps they find."

She suggests listing, sketching, reading and talking to share what children learn as they become active bird watchers. Finally, she includes a short piece of text about each bird in the book, alongside a reproduced thumbnail of each.

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