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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  171 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
The sky is quiet.

The yard is quiet.

The creek is quietly gurgling.

Then...tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat! A red-capped woodpecker starts his rap for the day. Next comes nine soft coos from the mourning doves, followed by the chipping of a flurry of sparrows. And on go the birdsongs throughout the day.

Celebrate neighborhood birds in this poetic pictu
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleOne Gorilla by Anthony Browne1 Is One by Tasha TudorAnno's Counting House by Mitsumasa AnnoDog Loves Counting by Louise Yates
Counting Books
76th out of 139 books — 17 voters
Birdsongs by Betsy FrancoSTEM Storiez - Counting Zoo by ZyroboticsWhat in the World? by Nancy Raines Day
Best Picture Books about Numbers
1st out of 3 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 260)
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Ashley Saunders
Sep 20, 2014 Ashley Saunders rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Franco, B. (2007) Birdsongs. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Counting Book

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

This book takes the reader through a day with various types of birds while learning to count backwards. The book counts out how many calls each individual bird makes throughout the day as each of the species communicates with one another. Not only does this book teach students how to count backwards but it also provides information about each bird to expand their lear
Nov 06, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
This is one of our favorite books of late. It's a reverse counting book, and it's the best kind of counting book because neither parent nor child really notices the counting. The book begins at dawn, and page by page all the birds wake up and make their bird noises (10 woodpecker taps, 9 dove coos, etc). The cut paper illustrations are beautiful and very accurate: my 4 year old delights in recognizing birds outside that he's seen in the book. We also have a great time making the bird sounds toge ...more
May 16, 2014 Bree rated it liked it
not a fan of the counting aspect of this book -- we read it without the numbers and liked it better; gorgoeus art; fun ending with the mockingbird
Mar 31, 2015 Shelley rated it really liked it
maybe a wee bit too long for a read aloud (could have cut some words as I read), but the book has many wonderful elements to make it quite interactive with the kids in my PreK story time. Plus, Steve Jenkins did the art and I love his work. Plus I combo-ed it with this really cute action rhyme and we had a blast.

I saw a little bird go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little bird to stop, stop, stop (hold out hand for stop)
I went to the window to say “How do you do?” (handshake)
He wagged
Megan Phillips
This book does an excellent job of showing students how to use their writing voice in order to display sound effects. All of the bird's noises are written in large words in order to display how loud they actually are. This book could be used in a writing workshop that focuses upon how writers can use voice in their writing to display different types of noises or words that need to be read loudly while reading.

This book could be used as an introductory tool to teach more about birds because it i
Ruth Ann
Sep 06, 2014 Ruth Ann rated it liked it
I enjoyed meeting all the neighborhood birds and I liked the uniqueness of counting backwards. But counting "sounds" on paper did not appeal to me. I think children, like me, would have much preferred counting the birds.

I love the collages of Steve Jenkins, but I find my favorite ones are those he wrote by himself or with his with Robin Page, When he collaborates with others, the book just doesn't have that WOW factor picture book perfection.
Kristine Hansen
Sep 04, 2014 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
Beautiful artwork, a book to enjoy on many levels. I liked being able to imitate the different sounds each bird makes. The mockingbird on the last page was the most fun of all. Be sure to share the interesting bird facts as you go (I almost wish they were in smaller print on the pages with the birds so one could pause easily with your child and give them that something more while they're looking at that particular bird. Otherwise, a very good book.
Sarah Sammis
Feb 03, 2009 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Birdsongs by Betty Franco and illustrated by Steve Jenkins is a delightful children's book that's takes a typical counting book and mixes with with some basic ornithology along with the story of an approaching storm.

Each page marks the passage of time with a new bird and a new bird song. There are crows, chickadees, morning doves, sea gulls and a humming bird among others. Harriet loves the way different birdsongs are counted all the way down to the single humming bird zzzt. She likes the make t
Nov 04, 2014 Jillian rated it liked it
Shelves: tikka-s-books
Matt, the birder, didn't like that some of the birds were called the wrong common name. That being said, it was fun to hear him read this book because he can imitate the birds in it so well. The artwork is awesome. According to other reviews, this book may teach kids to count backwards. Since Tikka is 4 months old, I did not focus on the educational aspect. Just wanted a book with big, interesting illustrations of birds.
Heather B.
I love it when sound is used to tell the story...a sort of story-by-onomatopoeia. A birdie version of "I got the rhythm" by Schofield-Morrison.
Jan 24, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A must have for anyone who loves birdwatching or the host of different songs you hear from the world of feathered friends.
An excellent book for adult memory care. Text is simple, art is marvelous. Accurate depictions and room for discussion.
Jul 08, 2014 Whitney rated it liked it
Shelves: favorite-toddler
C didn't get into this one very much; a young bird aficionado would love all the unique sounds and pictures of birds!
Maggi Rohde
Apr 25, 2015 Maggi Rohde rated it really liked it
Onomatopoeia and animals, a natural combination. In addition, this is a reverse counting book. Beautiful!!
Feb 27, 2015 Ameryn added it
Recommended to Ameryn by: library book
Shelves: kids, nature
Lovely illustrations and "noises".
Jun 21, 2014 Cemeread rated it really liked it
Kathleen Garber
Oct 07, 2007 Kathleen Garber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a great picture book that tells the sounds that different birds make ending with the mockingbird which imitates all the other birds. Plus the sounds are counted down from 10 to 1 so it reviews the numbers too. The illustrations look like pieces of paper cut into shapes and glued together, it looks very beautiful.

A short rain shower. Dressed in shiny green suits, mallards in the creek
discuss the weather. "The Gull was right," they say, quacking 5 times in
Jun 26, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
Recommended to Michael by: Aleyda
A woodpecker, gull, crow, robin, thrasher, and humming bird, along with mourning doves, sparrows, chickadees and ducks, give out their calls during the day, only to have them copied at night by the mockingbird. Cute story for the three year old, introducing her to the various "bird calls" that only a grandfather could mimic. Of course she loved it, and had to "parrot" along. (Like how I got another bird into the review, even though it wasn't mentioned in the story?) Clever, huh?
Lisa Nagel
Nov 07, 2011 Lisa Nagel rated it it was amazing
I liked this book for many reasons, first the illustrations are lovely. Secondly, there is a wonderful feathery fact index in the back that introduces young readers to facts about birds, and yes, it is also a counting book as you count backyard with the bird songs. Pair it with Kevin Henkes Birds book for a nice unit on birds for younger readers.Birds
A short, simple book about different birdsongs. There is a counting aspect to it, which I essentially overlooked as I read it aloud to my kindergarteners. We focused on the different birdsongs, and it was enjoyed interactively. I don't think I would enjoy it as much as a counting book. The illustrations were clear and nice, in Jenkins' style. Focused primarily on backyard birds, which I appreciated for use with my kindergarteners.
Jul 26, 2013 Magila rated it really liked it
A mixture of a counting picture book and science-birds. There isn't too much about the species of birds until the end, and even then the info is just a one liner, but it's just right for kids. The pages have poetry-ish entries leading up to the birdsongs and a number on each page.

The real winner is not the "story" which is ok and educational, but the art - which is cut paper and fantastic.

This counting book (of sorts) chronicles bird activity in one area from sunrise to sunset, beginning with one woodpecker that raps 10 times on the tree, mourning doves that coo 9 times, and on down to a hummingbird who offers a tiny "tzik" as the sun sets. Readers will get a sense of the calls crows, gulls, robins, a thrush, and more send out as they enjoy Steve Jenkins' gorgeous cut paper illustrations.
Kathryn Sublett
This book could be used to identify similarities and differences among different species of birds. The class could go outside to observe birds around the school and talk about the birds characteristics. This activity would be appropriate for students in kindergarten. It might be helpful to have a parent volunteer when taking twenty four kindergartners outside to learn.
This book uses counting to show you different birds and the songs they sing. It's very understated though, as in just briefly mentioned. You could emphasize the counting or just leave it as is.

The illustrations are lovely, using paper cutouts and are quite realistic.

Overall we enjoyed this book. It has some interesting information, but isn't 'deep'.

Khadija Bensaadoun
Apr 23, 2012 Khadija Bensaadoun rated it really liked it
The book is about different sounds that different bird species make. I would use this book for a kindergarten lesson on north american birds and their different sounds. For a fun class activity I would play different sounds that birds make such as hawk,goose, chicken..etc. The students will have to identify the sound with the appropriate animal.
Meg McGregor
Aug 21, 2013 Meg McGregor rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-lexi
Beautifully illustrated. The pictures look more like paintings.

Little ones will learn what that robins say tut, thrashers say chuck, mallards say quack, etc.

The information pages in the back of the book is great for older children.
Jun 16, 2008 Alfajirikali rated it it was amazing
This book combines counting, lyricism, and the distinctiveness and variety of bird calls. Athena loved it. I enjoyed it too, and especially I appreciated the artwork (though, admittedly, I am a sucker for paper collage).
Mar 25, 2009 Amber rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Brandi
Shelves: children-s-books
Great book...I think a slightly older child would especially love this. My 3 year old did, my 2 year old was unimpressed. I think a 4 or 5 year old would be perfect. Especially think your girls would love this one Brandi
Oct 18, 2007 LeGrand rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: small kids, birders
Shelves: picture_books
i really enjoyed this book.. the artwork is somewhat similar to eric carle.. lots of paper cutouts and textured paper to create the imagery for this book... it is also an excellent introduction to a variety of different birds..
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Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.
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