Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why

Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why

by Lita Judge
     
 

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A gorgeously illustrated tribute to birds of all kinds and the fantastic, funny, fascinating things that they do.

Birds have lots of ways of communicating: They sing and talk, dance and drum, cuddle and fight. But what does all of the bird talk mean?
Filled with gorgeous illustrations, this fascinating picture book takes a look at the secret life of birds

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Overview

A gorgeously illustrated tribute to birds of all kinds and the fantastic, funny, fascinating things that they do.

Birds have lots of ways of communicating: They sing and talk, dance and drum, cuddle and fight. But what does all of the bird talk mean?
Filled with gorgeous illustrations, this fascinating picture book takes a look at the secret life of birds in a child-friendly format that is sure to appeal to readers of all ages - whether they're die-hard bird-watchers or just curious about the creatures in their own backyards.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With humor and sensitivity, Judge translates the secret language of birds, both verbal and nonverbal, that they use to attract mates, communicate with partners or offspring, and thwart predators. “I have the most experience. I’ll make the best mate,” says the male American robin through the hundreds of different songs that he sings; a palm cockatoo, “a regular one-man hard-rock band,” whistles and bangs a stick against a tree to deliver the message, “Stay away! This is my tree”; and a flamingo parent urges its chick to break out of the egg. Set against matte white backdrops, Judge’s illustrations are simultaneously naturalistic and joyful, pairing well with her storyteller’s flair. Appended pages share additional information about each of the birds. Ages 6–9. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“...magical...” —Horn Book

“…a fun glimpse at the variety among the world's birds.” —School Library Journal

“With humor and sensitivity, Judge translates the secret language of birds...” —Publishers Weekly

“Delightfully straightforward and accessible.” —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Even in the city, people encounter birds and their songs/talk. From pigeons to penguins birds all over the world communicate with one another. They may sing a special song to attract a mate or many songs to show off their talents and stress that they will with their extensive repertoire will be the best mate. There are birds that do not sing but make noises like the booming of the male sage grouse or the strutting turkey who gobbles but really uses his wattle to win a mate. Some birds like the blue-footed booby do a dance as do western grebes and Indian Sarus cranes. How does a penguin ever find its little chick in a rookery filled with screaming little ones. It is not clear, but the parents do recognize the cries of their very own baby chick. Some birds use camouflage to protect themselves and their young; others can pretend to be injured to trick a predator and draw it away from the eggs in a nest. When a larger bird may be attacking smaller birds, they screech and warn each other or there may just be a short peep to warn other birds to take cover. The book is packed with interesting facts, all beautifully illustrated with realistic watercolor pictures of the birds. The closing pages offer even more information about the birds in the book. A wonderful selection to introduce children to birds and to encourage bird watching. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Birds use their voices, physical features, and their movements in varied ways to express themselves to their mates, their children, others of their species, and predators endangering them. This cheerful picture-book introduction cites numerous examples from many parts of the world. Explanations are brief and bright in tone. "A Palm Cockatoo is a regular one-man hard-rock band. He whistles and bobs his head. Then he breaks off a stick to drum against a tree. The message is clear to other males, 'Stay away! This is MY tree.'" Judge adds energy, humor, and occasional elegance in her vigorous color-shaded drawings. The large gray Palm Cockatoo with its rosy cheek patches and burst of top-knot feathers is a homely, stern defender of his branch. Some pages introduce two birds while others fill a whole page. A few get the whole spread. More than half of the 28 species reside in North America. Each has been chosen to represent an aspect of communication—greetings, warnings, mating signals, or contacts between parents and their young. A concluding pictorial glossary gives the species name of each bird (not all are named when they first appear), adding a brief note on its behavior and stating its habitat and range. A quick introduction to our ever-expanding knowledge of animal communication, this is also a fun glimpse at the variety among the world's birds.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
A simple ornithological discourse for very young readers offers several examples of feathered non-verbal communication. Over two dozen bird species--most, but not all, with North American ranges, and many fairly familiar--are shown communicating essential messages via calls, displays of plumage and other, less well-known behaviors. Birds from distant parts of the world may appear in the same opening describing behaviors that accomplish similar aims: wooing mates, camouflage, encouragement to fledglings, protection. Judge's art is clear and understandable, as well as subtly funny, letting the birds speak for themselves. Her bright-eyed birds--in many cases both the male and female are shown--and briefly sketched surroundings against plenty of white space look natural, even as several of her subjects seem to twinkle expressively along with the humor in her clear, direct text. Some young listeners may be charmed into giggles by the "missiles of poop" launched by the Scandinavian fieldfare in an effort the keep predatory crows from their nests. Adult readers may enjoy reading about the Northern gannet, with its unique way of determining who goes fishing for food and who tends the nest. Further information about each of the species, including their habitats and ranges, appears on several pages at the back, along with a brief glossary and list of sources. Delightfully straightforward and accessible. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596436466
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
920,440
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

The granddaughter of ornithologists, Lita Judge has listened to and observed birds ever since she was a little girl. She is also the author/illustrator of Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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