Children's LiteratureInformation about robins is conveyed in pleasing full color illustrations that show robins in a variety of activities such as flying, nest building, and finding food. The simple text is rhymed at the sacrifice of rhythm that mars slightly the read-aloud pleasure of the otherwise informative text. Some key words in color emphasize concepts (cozy, round, mud for a nest description; insects, worms, berries for pages on food; and spotted orange breasts to distinguish fledglings from adults). A helpful afterword for adults to read to children uses additional terminology, such as migration concepts, and stresses observation of robins. In addition, it suggests ways to attract robins to the backyard, stressing that they don't eat birdseed, a fact that will be new to those who aren't used to looking. The book suggests putting out fruit instead. Preschoolers will enjoy the paintings that show well to a small group. They will probably point out that the text describes robins as having a rusty red breast under brownish gray wings, but the illustrations disagree, showing the robins in the more familiar blackish grey coloration. 2004, Carolrhoda, Ages 4 to 8.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.