by John Schindel, illus. by Steven Holt
The stunning photograph on the cover will be the first thing that attracts your toddler’s attention to this terrific board book. Once those little hands get hold of it, a world opens up of birds in all shapes and colors, with a range of wingspan and beak sizes. The birds’ activities mirror many of the things toddlers do in their daily routines. “Birdy nibbling” depicts an oriole with golden feathers extracting food from a hollow in a tree branch. On the right hand page, opposite, a feathered creature with a massive body, its legs planted in a pool of shallow water looks straight out at readers, a stream of water falling from its blue beak: “Birdy dribbling.” Two owls seemingly leering pose as “Birdies eyeing” while a pair of geese, one with wings extended, one retracting its wings, fill the sky for “Birdies flying.” All of the photos capture the birds in their habitat doing what comes naturally, but the mix of humorous moments coupled with images of birds doing what they must to survive (eating, migrating) lends the book a wonderful buoyancy. The images coupled with Schindel’s concise, often clever text invite youngsters to look at birds a little more closely and to see them in a fresh way. The book ends with “Birdies resting,” making this an ideal naptime or bedtime choice.
Schindel chooses the photographer for each project. Two other recent titles of his are Busy Bear Cubs, with photos by Lisa Husar (ISBN 9781582463025); and Busy Chickens, also with photos by Steven Holt (ISBN 9781582462752)