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Children's LiteratureThe problem with this book lies less with the content than it does the layout. Using a question and answer format, twenty-eight questions are posed and answered, one per page. They include the basic—what is a feather?—and go on to describe the kinds of feathers, how they are useful, what they are made of, how they allow birds to fly, and how they keep birds dry. The writing is clear and concise with plenty of examples and fascinating asides. Because there is so much going on, the pages have a cluttered look that will be distracting to readers who have difficulty focusing. The photography is excellent and a wide variety of birds are depicted. The author took the time to point out the distinctive design of the tail feather of the King Bird of Paradise and there is a handsome close-up photo of the feather. Too bad a complete picture of this tiny but beautiful bird was not included. Flawed but useful in primary grades where the research is often finding the answer to simple questions such as those presented here. 2005, Andromeda Children's Books, Ages 6 to 8.