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Children's LiteratureBirdie and his four fine-feathered friends have an adventure on their hands as they search for the perfect living accommodations for Birdie, who has no house. During the course of the story, the friends have better luck than Birdie, and each settles into a space that is a good "fit," whether that is a house fit for a tall, thin and narrow bird or a short, fat and wide one. (Not to worry, Birdie makes out all right in the end.) The point here is to teach the young reader the concept of volume or capacity. This paperback is marked as a Level 1 "MathStart" series book. It would have been a great help to get some clarification on the differences between thin and narrow, wide and fat. Without as much as a visual reference, it's hard to tell which is which; it's a concept that would have been better off not taken for granted. The illustrations are fairly simplistic (imagine the way a first grader draws a tree), but the colors are bright, and the book has a feeling of movement. Indeed, the birds fly in a left-to-right progression from the story's start to its end. Readers will find a list of activities at the end of the book; they are written for adults and kids, yet may be of more interest to teachers trying to drive home a point than to kids in search of amusement. 2004, HarperCollins, and Ages 4 to 8.
—Susan Schott Karr