Children's Literature - Meredith KigerPart of a series of four books about our feathered friends, each is written by a naturalist and self-proclaimed bird fancier. Protecting Our Feathered Friends discusses extinction as a natural process, and describes ways in which we can slow this process. Examples of extinct birds and endangered birds that have been saved from extinction are featured. Plans for building birdhouses, bird feeders and birdbaths are included as well as a glossary. There are few photos, and the print is small. The books in the "Birder's Bookshelf" series are primarily intended for those who already have some interest in ornithology.
School Library JournalGr 4-6Two entries in a series whose aim is to give its audience greater insight into the avian world. Housing looks at different types of nests, the various materials used, and places that they're built. The final chapter is devoted to instructions for building birdhouses. They are rated according to degree of difficulty and range from extremely simple to those that require a great deal of adult help. One birdhouse appears in both books, but there is no other overlap. Protecting has a more general focus. It starts by defining extinction and continues with a discussion of the conservation movement as it applies to birds. Numerous examples are given including an explanation of how humans are helping birds such as the bald eagle make a comeback. Although obviously bird-biased, Spaulding does present other viewpoints, as in his discussion of the spotted owl/logging industry controversy. The last chapter suggests ways for readers to involve themselves in bird conservation. The author's emphasis on observation over interference (he is careful to mention laws prohibiting keeping found bird nests, for example) serves to enforce the idea of respect for the natural world. Full-color photos scattered throughout provide a nice complementto the clear, easily followed texts. Both are fine resources for reports, but they're also great for pleasure reading.Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
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