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Children's LiteratureNature writer Arnold has tackled numerous subjects in her some 200 books for children, and the subject of birds is a frequent one. In this title, she shows young readers how birds' skeletal structure enables them to fly, uses a small experiment to explain lift, and examines three types of feathers and their uses. Arnold answers the questions children would ask-do all birds flap their wings? Why? How fast? Why do birds soar? How? She also examines the mechanics of hovering, gliding, steering, and landing. A double-page spread examines the fast, slow and no-flyers, and takes a quick look at other species that fly or glide. While this is not a bird identification book, the birds pictured are named and a spread of numbered birds allows young readers to try identification with a key given on the following page. It is a good introduction to the technical aspects of flight for grade school children and goes well with numerous classroom science studies. A glossary is appended and a list of reliable bird guides are suggested. 2003, Charlesbridge, Ages 7 to 10.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.