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It's a Hummingbird's Life

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Illustrated in soft watercolors with light type that swirls and swoops across the page like its subjects (which may be problematic for beginning readers), It's a Hummingbird's Life is likely to be inspiring for young ornithologists, and may appeal as well to the more mechanically minded, who will be fascinated to read that a hummingbird's wings can rotate in a full circle ''just like a helicopter's blades.'' — Linnea Lannon
Publishers Weekly
Zooming in on a year in the life of one particular creature, It's a Hummingbird's Life by Irene Kelly will give young bird lovers a close look into this tiny bird's busy days, season by season. The text undulates across the pages like the bird in flight, offering details about hummingbirds that children can digest easily; e.g., a single penny can fit snugly in a hummingbird's nest and their wings can beat up to 3,000 times per minute. Dainty watercolors and fine black line provide a notebook-like record of the bird's behavior, diet, etc. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The ruby-throated hummingbird, a tiny mighty bird, is the focus of this very amusing book. Beginning in the spring with the building of the nest and on through the winter migration, this amazing bird seems to rarely sit still. What makes this particular book extra special is the combination of three things in the overall layout. The deceptively simple but informative main body text, the brightly busy illustrations and the additional informative text following curves here and there throughout the book combine to give the feeling of buzzing about with these high-energy birds as they go on about their days. Highly recommended for birders of every age. 2003, Holiday House,
— Trina Heidt
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Simple phrasing and child-centered descriptions follow the hyperactive lifestyle of these tiny jewel-toned creatures throughout the year. Delicate, colorfully rendered artwork and a dipping and curving text reinforce the bird's grace and agility. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sweet, colorful, and fluttery, this bright little jewel is as cheerful as the bird it depicts. Readers will learn that the nest of a ruby-throated hummingbird is only as big as a half a Ping-Pong ball. That hummingbird eggs are so small you could mail 60 of them using one postage stamp. That newborn hummingbirds must be fed every three minutes-and that the mother, in consequence, eats 2,000 insects a day. That a hummingbird can drink eight times their body weight in nectar every day. ("For us, that would be like drinking more than 500 cups of juice a day!") Kelly's lively watercolors include sidebars on nearly every page, with choice tidbits of information that complement the main narrative. They and the small font size make this difficult to read to a group, but for a lap child, or a young reader, it's just right. (Nonfiction. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823416585
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/20/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2003

    Unusually beautiful book

    An amazing book! As an amateur naturalist and mother of 2 children (ages 3 & 8), I am always on the look-out for a new nature book with a fresh approach. This book is the most inspired book about birds that I've come across in a long time. The beautiful watercolor paintings are full of life and really convey the boundless energy of hummingbirds. The author-illustrator has found a wonderfully playful voice for telling the story of these incredible birds. My thanks to Ms. Kelly for creating a treasured new addition to my nature library!

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