Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?

by Rita Gray, Kenard Pak
     
 

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In this nonfiction picture book for young readers, we learn just why the mother nesting bird stays quiet and still while sitting on her eggs. Shh. . . .See more details below

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Overview


In this nonfiction picture book for young readers, we learn just why the mother nesting bird stays quiet and still while sitting on her eggs. Shh. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/16/2013
Layering delicate leaves and branches in green-browns, gold-greens, and touches of scarlet, newcomer Pak gives Gray’s (One Big Rain) story about nesting robins a quiet, measured dynamism. The restraint of the artwork dovetails nicely with the story’s themes: caretaking, which is what the nesting robin is doing, and observation, which is what a human boy and girl are doing. The two talk about the birds they see, some of which are voicing their characteristic calls (“Sparrow makes a simple jingle./ chiddik, chiddik/ Swallow slides from under a shingle./ ha-ha-chit-chit-chit”). One bird, though, is mysteriously silent. “ ‘Not a single tweet or trill.’/ ‘This nesting bird is so still!’ ” The secret to the robin’s long stay on her nest is revealed as a dialogue between the sounds coming from the nest (“Tapping Cracking”) and the children’s observations (“The bird is starting to move around!”). It’s a fine first book about watching living beings in the wild, and it also serves as a beginning birders’ guide, identifying the features and cries of common backyard birds. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"The pleasing text is well constructed, with rhythm and rhyme altered in different types of stanzas and distinctive birdsongs included in the verse. . . . A beautifully crafted, informative picture book."
Booklist, starred review

"This charming and unusual nature story contributes something new to the overstuffed field of bird-related picture books. . . . As welcome as the robin in springtime."
Kirkus, starred review

"The restraint of the artwork dovetails nicely with the story's themes: caretaking. . . and observation. . . A fine book about watching living things in the wild, and it also serves as a beginning birders' guide, identifying the features and cries of common backyard birds."
Publishers Weekly

"[A] lovely introduction to common neighborhood birds."
School Library Journal

"With its many birdcalls that invite imitation, the text is enjoyable in its own right, as are the softly texture, earth-toned setting in which children and birds enjoy each other's company."
Bulletin

Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Truly a delight for young and old, bird lover, bird watcher, or anyone reveling in a life well lived, Rita Gray’s Have You Heard the Nesting Bird, takes readers along with a boy and a girl wandering from tree to tree over a period of time, wondering about a lonely robin in its nest. We learn about the sounds of the mourning doves on their morning stroll, starling singing from a metal pole, sparrow making a simple jingle, and swallow sliding from under a shingle. Gray’s rhymes, written above each bird’s call, are so subtle and beautiful they do not seem like rhymes at all but more like bird songs. Kendard Pak’s watercolor has a quick, almost collage-like, feel to it, like birds in flight. The delicate accuracy of each bird makes each distinctly recognizable by even the youngest reader. All this detail without a plot would have been pleasant enough, but Gray’s book goes much further. The nesting bird, the robin waiting quietly for her eggs to hatch, tells her sweet story following a dark, double-page spread of the human’s home set beside the tree in which she’s made her nest. Powder blue text of taps, cracks, ruffles, and shuffles announce the birth of the baby birds and the arrival of their father. The two-page final spread, “A Word with the Bird,” is presented as a Q&A session between the reader and the nesting robin. Delightfully informative and well researched (the endpapers acknowledge the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association for their review of bird facts and there is even a website resource for additional robin songs and sounds), Have You Heard the Nesting Bird is an elegant introduction to birds for the budding ornithologist, a fine addition to a science shelf in an elementary school library, and also a wonderful baby shower gift idea. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
02/01/2014
PreS-Gr 3—A boy and girl on a neighborhood walk encounter many birds singing and calling. Short rhyming verses capture the essence of these backyard birds, e.g., "Cardinal wears a pointy hat. 'cheer-cheer-cheer-purdy-purdy-purdy'/Chickadee is an acrobat. 'chick-a-dee-dee-dee.'" The children wonder why the robin nesting in the tree next to their house is silent, until the day when cheeping, peeping follow the tapping, cracking sounds of the eggs hatching. Soft watercolor and collagelike digital art beautifully impart a springtime feeling to the spreads. Following the poem-story is a two-page mock "interview" with the mother bird, which serves as a useful explanation of nesting behaviors. This lovely introduction to common neighborhood birds also includes some less familiar varieties, such as the wood thrush and the whip-poor-will.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-15
Two children wander through the countryside listening to calls of common birds and wonder why the nesting robin alone does not make a sound. The calls of common birds—mourning dove, woodpecker, starling, sparrow, swallow, crow, cardinal, chickadee, catbird, blue jay, the onomatopoeic whippoorwill and wood thrush—are notated with pleasing accuracy, well enough to allow a child to identify them in nature, even as the children in the book encounter them. Finally, sounds of tapping, cracking and breaking shells emanate from the robin's nest. Cheeping and peeping are heard, and the long silence is broken by the newborn baby robins. The male robin's song is sweetly transcribed as "Cheerily, cheer up! My tree makes syrup! Syrup so sweet!" This charming and unusual nature story contributes something new to the overstuffed field of bird-related picture books. Gray's simple rhymes and accurate bird calls are attractively complemented by Pak's textured watercolor-resist illustrations in soft greens, browns and grays. Each bird is humorously but accurately depicted. A final "Word with the Bird" in Q-and-A format explains in detail why the robin is silent while hatching her eggs and answers many other useful questions, including the role of the father bird and what happens to the babies after they leave the nest. As welcome as the robin in springtime. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544105805
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/18/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
244,799
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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