The Best Nest

The Best Nest

by Doris L. Mueller, Sherry Neidigh
     
 
Long ago, when the world was young, the magpies' nests were the envy of all other birds. To help the other birds, Maggie Magpie patiently explained how to build a nest. But some birds were impatient and flew off without listening to all the directions, which is why, to this day, birds' nests come in all different shapes and sizes. This clever retelling of an old

Overview

Long ago, when the world was young, the magpies' nests were the envy of all other birds. To help the other birds, Maggie Magpie patiently explained how to build a nest. But some birds were impatient and flew off without listening to all the directions, which is why, to this day, birds' nests come in all different shapes and sizes. This clever retelling of an old English folktale teaches the importance of careful listening.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
An enticing first sentence—"Long ago, when the world was young, only the magpie knew how to build a nest"—pulls readers and listeners into this tale of why birds build the kind of nest they do. The story is based on the fact that many kinds of birds admire the magpie for building a large nest that could keep its babies safe. They want to learn how to do the same, so Maggie the magpie begins to teach them how to build a sturdy nest. However, as most of them do not want to take time to listen, they fly away with only bits and pieces of the information they need. The killdeer, whip-poor-will, screech-owl, blackbird, grackle, meadowlark, robin, dove, and oriole are included. Only the oriole stays to hear all of the hints and that is why only the oriole makes a nest as strong and beautiful as the magpie's is today. After the first few birds fly away, children will delight in predicting what is going to happen. Without begin didactic, the lesson rings clear that it is important to listen to all of what is being taught. The illustrator's soft, realistic pictures mesh well with the text to make a winning product. While the publisher suggests ages 4 to 8, it is felt that children as young as 3 and as old as 10 would enjoy this book. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4- An old English folktale (unsourced) creates a foundation for a new version of how or why each bird builds its nest differently. "Long ago, when the world was young, only the magpie knew how to build a nest." The other birds leave their eggs in unsafe places, and so they ask the magpie to teach them how to keep their babies safe. Each one then departs to build the nest that suits its needs, and the book ends with the intricate and sturdy nest home of the oriole. The author provides support for additional activities, information about each bird, "bird math" (problems based upon the number of broods and eggs for each species), bird care, and a "match the nest" activity. Illustrations show each bird in mixed media with watercolor and pen and ink details. Side panels give readers close-up views of each egg while the bird community-11 species from robin to whip-poor-will-exhibit their personalities and reveal their interest in building as they race across page frames to finish their nests. Additional activities and information on the birds featured make this book a good choice for children with high interest in the topic.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Kirkus Reviews
Loosely based on an un-cited folk tale, this avian fable seems to extol the benefits of listening carefully to instructions, but actually promotes the opposite. As only Magpie knows how to build a good nest, the other birds ask her for instructions-but some fly off at each stage, thinking they've learned all they need to know. Only Oriole stays till the end, which is why, to this day, Oriole and Magpie have strong, beautiful nests while, for instance, Killdeer and Whippoorwill lay eggs on open ground, Starling's nest is messy, etc. Mueller leaves readers to draw their own conclusions, which is likely to result in some confusion as the various nesting styles have demonstrably served the all-American cast well enough. Neidigh renders the birds with fair accuracy, but doesn't pay close attention herself, as Robin's eggs are nestled in a cozy nest from the start. A large closing section of additional facts and quizzes can't boost this past the two (at least) earlier single versions of the tale already available. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607180272
Publisher:
Arbordale Publishing
Publication date:
05/10/2013
Series:
El mejor nido , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Lexile:
AD830L (what's this?)
File size:
9 MB
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Doris L. Mueller (pronounced Miller) (The Best Nest) has been a teacher and professor at every level from kindergarten through graduate school. She currently teaches college-level writing courses and a class in Children’s Literature. Her previous books include a picture book, Small One’s Adventure, a middle-grade novel, Marryin’ Sam, and a biography, M. Jeff Thompson: Missouri’s Swamp Fox. Doris recalls that whenever she failed to listen to instructions, her mother would tell her an Old English Tale of how, when the magpie tried to teach the birds how to build a beautiful, strong nest like hers, all but one failed to attend to her instructions and went off to build inadequate nests. She retold the story, substituting birds native to the US, and added factual information telling how various birds build their nests. Doris and her husband live on a small lake outside of St. Louis and have many bird visitors at their bird feeders�woodpeckers, humming birds, nuthatches, and goldfinches, among others. Their own children are grown and have flown the nest.

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