Cheryl's Reviews > Birds

Birds by Kevin Henkes
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's review
May 11, 12

bookshelves: want-to-add-to-perm-collection
Read in May, 2012

At first I wasn't crazy about this. I was comparing it to non-fiction books by Ruth Heller, such as How to Hide a Meadow Frog and Other Amphibians with their detailed, accurate pictures and text. But that's not fair.

This is an introduction to the beauty of birds, and an homage to the joy they can add to our lives and the depth of feeling they can provoke in our souls.

Nothing is inaccurate - and the level of detail is that which is appropriate for Truth. You know, the Poetic Truth that is more authentic than simple facts, the facts you'd get from a book like A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America.

I especially loved Dronzeks' illustrations that accompanied the text "If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like." And when the flock of starlings abruptly leaves their tree, "it looks like the tree yelled,'Surprise!'" I grinned in recognition as Henkes got that absolutely right.

You may not appreciate this book the first time you read it. Share it with your loved ones, or your day-care, or your High School Art or Poetry students. The more I think about it, look at it again, and read it aloud, the more I love it.

In a school or homeschooling setting I would definitely accompany this by non-fiction, for example maybe Backyard Birds Of Summer. Do a unit on poetry & art & ornithology & nature appreciation & ecology - your children will love it and learn a lot.
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