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Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
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Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  453 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
You don’t have to own binoculars and know a bunch of fancy Latin names to watch birds! No matter where you live, they’re in your neighborhood — just look up.

This conversational, humorous introduction to bird-watching encourages kids to get outdoors with a sketchbook and really look around. Quirky full-color illustrations portray dozens of birds chatting about their distinc
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published July 1st 2010)
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Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyOwl Moon by Jane YolenAre You My Mother? by P.D. EastmanOwl Babies by Martin WaddellThe Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
Picture Books About Birds
13th out of 125 books — 15 voters
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen SibleyNational Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds by Miklos D.F. UdvardyNational Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds by National Audubon SocietyLook Up! by Annette LeBlanc CateThe Sibley Guide to Birds; Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged by David Allen Sibley
Best Books for Birders
4th out of 72 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 841)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I really didn't expect this book to grab me the way it did. I wish I'd had Look Up! when I first started watching birds as a kid. Cate's text and detailed illustrations fill every page from edge to edge, even the endpapers, and provide practical tips on how to watch birds and what to observe. I can tell that this was a work of love for this author. She really knows her birds! I learned a few things myself about a few species I've seen. Her touches of humor in the birds and their conversations ma ...more
I LOVED this book! I am a bird geek, and I spent many hours as a child drawing birds (why did I stop?) and raising chickens and ducks. I still love watching birds come to the feeders, especially on a snowy day like today. This book reminded me about why I love them so much! It's a very "busy" book - lots of information, drawing tips, even comics and humor. It wouldn't necessarily make a good read aloud (at least not the WHOLE thing - maybe a little at a time projected on a screen), but I can see ...more
May 10, 2014 Romelle rated it really liked it
Creative nonfiction. A book on how to bird watch. After reading this book, I will never look at a bird the same again. Annette LeBlanc Cate helps us be more observant in the way we look at birds- their color, shape, habitat, features, sounds, etc.

The illustrations add some comic relief to the topic with birds talking to each other, birds cracking jokes, and birds conversing with the narrator in speech bubbles. The fashion show performed by the birds was particularly funny.

I did find the entire b
Tammy J
Nov 10, 2015 Tammy J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
I love this book it's all about birds and how they think people are watching them. It offers readers a humorous view point of the birds in this comedic picture book. It has alot of words so I would use this for upper elementary or early middle school possibly 4-6. The author really grabs the readers attention right off the bat. She leads the reader in with the tantalizing titles and explains the reasoning behind her actions. It would be a great book do discuss stating a claim and viewpoints. It ...more
Jim Erekson
Sep 30, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
Cate's birding book breaks one of the cardinal rules (sorry I couldn't resist) of informational books: Anthropomorphism. But in this case, she is right and the rule is wrong. That's the thing with trying to come up with tight criteria for selecting informational books. When we focus too tightly on one kind of presentation, we get myopic. This book is not intended to be a scientist's science presentation. It's about being an everyday person getting into birding, and the talking birds are appropri ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
A great introduction to bird watching for kids. This book is jam-packed with information about observing the birds in your geographical area. The writing style is conversational which really works for a book like this because it recognizes that bird-watching doesn't sound nearly as cool as it turns out to be.

The author uses knowledge and enthusiasm to prove that bird-watching is a worthwhile hobby and uses each two page spread to build on the information included on the previous pages. That mea
Natalie Haldeman
Title: Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
Author: Annette LeBlanc Cate
Genre: Nonfiction, Robert F. Sibert Winner Honor Book
Theme(s): Bird Watching
Opening line/sentence: This is a book about one of my favorite hobbies: bird-watching (and bird drawing, too!).
Brief Book Summary: This book provides a vast amount of information about birds, and the process of bird watching. It is filled with a lot of information about different subjects that have to do with birds such as feathers, migration,
Lori Irvine
Twin Text- Froodle by Antoinette Portis

Protis, A. (2014). Froodle. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.

My twin texts are matched as a way to engage students in the environment around them and to take a closer look at birds. I would begin my lesson reading the fiction text, Froodle. Even though it is a silly book about the importance of expressing yourself, it still brings attention to the wide variety of birds that surround us everyday.
The non-fiction text is a 2013 honor book for the Robert Sibe
May 30, 2016 nicole added it
Shelves: couldnt-finish, 2016
We have a copy of this in the school library and I put it up on display often at this time of year. We had a great tree for birdwatching just outside the breezeway, that was cut down this year in order to install a generator. I am surprised by how hard I've taken the loss. I blame Mae, who is an avid birdwatcher, shouting her greetings to them each morning and chasing after them with reckless abandon. I finally picked this up to read, hoping to find some facts to share with her, or get to know t ...more
Rosie Sanchez
APA: Cate, A. (2013). Look up!: Bird-watching in your own backyard. Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.
Carolyn Phelan from Booklist (2013) states, “In this amiable guidebook that encourages readers to observe and wonder about the birds around them, Cate presents plenty of relevant information while sharing her clear enthusiasm for the subject. Accompanied with bright illustrations on every page, the text introduces topics such as birds’ distinctive colors, shapes, feathers, sounds, habitats,
Misty Jimenez

Book Title: Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

APA Citation:
Cate, Annette. (2013). Look up! Bird watching in your own backyard. Somerville: Candlewick.

Original Review: Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate is a one of a kind book designed for young Darwin explorers who wish to learn more about the fascinating world of bird-watching. The book is beautifully illustrated with captivating drawings that help the reader interpret the information being explained.
Amy Yount
Apr 29, 2016 Amy Yount rated it liked it
Shelves: project-1
Book Review:
This book is great for readers who would like to become a birdwatcher! This book helps the reader ease into the art of bird watching by observing the birds in their own backyard. Even people that live in the city can become birdwatchers by observing their surroundings. Through Annette Cate’s fun and casual tone, she suggests that observing the color, size, beak type, and feet can help identify birds. The reader is encouraged to watch the behavior of the birds, what sounds they are
Haley Barbour
Title: Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
Author: Annette LeBlanc Cate
Genre: Nonfiction
Theme(s): Nature/Wildlife
Opening line/sentence: Here are all the reasons its better to watch us birds than other critters!
Brief Book Summary: This text informs its readers on the how to of bird watching. It encourages kids to go outside and truly see what their world is made of, while including numerous different types of illustrations.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Carolyn Phelan (Booklist,
Tongtong Wu
Apr 21, 2016 Tongtong Wu rated it it was amazing
Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard (2013) by Annette LeBlanc Cate
You don’t have to be a professional watch birds. Anyone can be a bird watcher. No matter where you live, birds are there. You can even live in a city and watch birds. Birds aren’t boring by fascinating. Sketching birds you see can teach you a lot and show you the different kinds of birds there are. This book encourages children to go outside with a sketchbook and illustrate what they see.
This is a very cute
Brooke Snyder
Oct 05, 2014 Brooke Snyder rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Summary: You don’t have to be a professional watch birds. Anyone can be a bird watcher. No matter where you live, birds are there. You can even live in a city and watch birds. Birds aren’t boring by fascinating. Sketching the birds you see can teach you a lot and show you the different kinds of birds there are. This book encourages children to go outside with a sketchbook and illustrate what they see.

“Spending time outside observing life and drawing in a sketch book can help you see the world i
Peggy Dynek
Mar 29, 2014 Peggy Dynek rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-books
Twin Text- Have you Seen Mary? By Jeff Kurrus @ 2012.

Rationale: I chose “Have you seen Mary?” because it uses amazing photographs to personify two Sandhill Cranes as they migrate across North America. Mary is shown in the Alaskan habitat, in the Platte River, and in flight in between. We see Mary eating, dancing, and flying. The nonfiction text goes into great detail; showing students how they could position themselves to see the Cranes, explaining why the birds are moving, why they are preening
Mar 16, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Robert Sibert Award

Cate, A. L. (2013). Look up! Bird-watching in your own backyard. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Author-illustrator Annette LeBlanc Cate takes bird-watching and brings it to the masses—masses of kids, that is. Her humorous pen and watercolor illustrations draw the reader in, making a previously elite activity an inviting and interesting hobby. Readers will watch for the smart-mouth comments thrown in by birds, highlighting the conversational te
Mar 07, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing
On the first pages of Look Up!, one of the cartoon birds from the book exclaims, “Here are all the reasons it’s better to watch us birds than other critters! 1. More exciting than slugs! 2. More varieties than squirrels! 3. Less dangerous than grizzly bears!” With an abundance of humor, practical tips and interesting facts, Annette LeBlanc Cate makes a convincing case for the joys of bird-watching. In 13 short chapters, readers will learn all they need to know to get started.

First, where to loo
Aug 11, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
Filled with interesting snippets about birds and tiny sketches of their various features, this book sparkles with passion for its topic. If this one doesn't make bird lovers out of its readers, I don't know what will. It's funny, practical, and debunks many assumptions about the stodgy and uncool nature of birders. As the author points out repeatedly, it isn't necessary to travel or buy expensive equipment to watch birds. All you really need is some time and patience, and you will identify plent ...more
Emily Petering
Feb 21, 2016 Emily Petering rated it really liked it
This is a very cute book. This book tells tips on how anyone can bird watch. It uses simple vocabulary which allows most children to understand it. It's a bit lengthy, but it would be great for a 3rd or 4th grader. The author uses kid-friendly words, while keeping it incredibly engaging. I don't think kids would want to put this book down just because it's easily relatable. The illustrations are wonderful. The illustrator filled each page with journal-like sketches that model what the book was t ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Mom 4 stars, Jacob 3 stars, Ellie 2 stars. Not a book to read straight through.
May 04, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
Pick of the Day: Look Up!

By SLJ on March 27, 2013
CATE, Annette Leblanc. Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard. illus. by author. 64p. illus. index. Candlewick. Mar. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4561-8. LC 2012942416.
Gr 3-5–With its emphasis on looking at the birds near home–from suburbs to inner cities–this invitation to bird-watching is an engaging addition to any collection. By grouping birds by colors, shapes, behaviors, feathers, calls, habitat, migration, and more, the spr
Apr 10, 2013 Janis rated it it was amazing
My new favorite children’s book is Look Up! This delightful, informative, inspiring introduction to bird-watching (for kids 8 and up, with plenty to offer for novice adults) offers the basics of bird-watching, from characteristics and behavior, shapes, flying patterns, songs, habitat, and even a nice introduction to classification. I loved its conversational cartoon approach and quirky humor. A wonderful book!
Natalie Mauro
May 02, 2015 Natalie Mauro rated it it was amazing
This a nonfiction book that is intended for children age 4 through elementary school, although I have this in my classroom with my 3 year olds and they enjoy looking through it to find the birds that they see visiting all of our feeders. The book isn't a typical bird book. Its illustrations are cartoon style, and the humor and delivery of the information are that which will capture and engage children. Each breed of bird has their own personality and that is shown through the book by having the ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Luann rated it really liked it
This is a book that might be best read in several sittings rather than all at once. There's a lot more reading here than you would originally think based on the length of the book. There are LOTS of details to read. Maybe too many? Nearly all the birds have things to say, some of which are very funny.

I have to say I did learn a lot reading this. I think it is a GREAT starting point for kids who are interested in bird watching but know nothing about it. It wouldn't work well reading aloud to a c
Jasmyn H
Nov 25, 2014 Jasmyn H rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Cate, A. (2013). Look up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard. Somverville: Candlewick Press.

Junior Book Log


This informational book covers all the basics for beginning bird watchers. The author makes the generally un-interesting topic more exciting with ink and watercolor illustrations. In addition to the the informational text on each page, the author included conversation bubbles coming from the bird and human characters on each page. The dialogue from the characters makes the bo
Ashlynn Armstrong
Feb 22, 2016 Ashlynn Armstrong rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is about how children can go outside and sketch the birds they see if they just took a minute to look. The narrator talks about how there are so many different ways to classify a bird from color to the shape they are. From living in the country to the city anyone can go outside and see birds all around. Everyone is a part of this world so they need to go outside and draw what they see from their perspective on life.

I loved the fun pictures of this book, but the story was hard to get in
An engaging introduction to bird-watching, full of funny illustrations and a warmly galvanizing can-do spirit. The birds are cartoonish yet accurate, and the information is sound and just enough to get someone excited about observing the world around them without being at all daunting. Would make a great gift.

I would have given it 5 stars, but I had two small disappointments. Generally, the author/illustrator does a fine and witty job anthropomorphizing the birds just enough for humor and relata
Miss Sarah
Dec 29, 2014 Miss Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
Ok so I saw that this and that is won the Robert F. Sibert award, and my first two thoughts were bird watching? isn't that boring for kids, what's the point. If you've read the book you know the second page is "oh I know what you're think bird-watching is NOT boring!" and the third is "the point is..." I love it when the author reads my mind. More to the point I love how much this book focuses on making kids no matter where they live or what their lives are like, more aware of their environment. ...more
 Barb Bailey
This book is it ! I am recommending this book to my will be a great birthday gift idea for her step son, especially paired with a set of binoculars .
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Annette LeBlanc Cate is the author-illustrator of The Magic Rabbit. She’s been watching and drawing birds for many years, and she loves pointing out funny stuff about them. She was the art director for the hit animated show Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
More about Annette LeBlanc Cate...

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