Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Feathers: Not Just for Flying” as Want to Read:
Feathers: Not Just for Flying
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Feathers: Not Just for Flying

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,023 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Young naturalists meet sixteen birds in this elegant introduction to the many uses of feathers. A concise main text highlights how feathers are not just for flying. More curious readers are invited to explore informative sidebars, which underscore specific ways each bird uses its feathers for a variety of practical purposes. A scrapbook design showcases life-size feather i ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Charlesbridge (first published September 30th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Feathers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Feathers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,023 ratings  ·  171 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Feathers: Not Just for Flying
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Absolutely lovely. And educational, and engaging.

Important to know that natural selection / evolution is blind... we don't know exactly how it happened that dinosaurs evolved feathers and became the birds we know today, but when we read a book like this we can see that there were lots of things that feathers could do to help those who had them survive long enough to reproduce.... Stewart doesn't go into that and in fact has minimal supplemental material, which is why I'm rounding down from 4.5 s
We found this delightful. It was engaging enough for my four-year-old and seven-year-old while providing some "ah-ha!" moments for me, too. Wonderful introduction to the many ways feathers help our feathered friends -- "not just for flying" ;-)
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Feathers is designed like a scrapbook, and it counts with wonderful illustrations. The text is concrete and easy to understand. Its goal is to show all the different uses feathers have for different birds. Each use of a feather is compared with common objects well known by kids and that have this same use for us: feathers are warm as a blanket, protect the skin like sunscreen, soak water like a sponge, or attract attention like jewellery. These are only a few of the "jobs" feathers have. You wil ...more
Alyson Long
Stewart, Melissa. Feathers: Not Just for Flying. Charlesbridge, 2014. 32 p. Gr. 1-3.

Any student with a love for science and animals, would love this nonfictional information book about birds and their feathers. This book first gives examples of specific feathers and their names, as an introduction. The book then continues to describe one beautiful feather at a time and how they help birds live in various ways. If you were to take short glance at the pages, you would notice that there are pictur
Lauren Waters
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is another book great for teaching classification. Feathers have so many purposes like sunscreen, warmth, cushions and acting like sponges.
Alexis Imler
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, birds
Stewart, M., & Brannen, S. S. (2014). Feathers: Not just for flying. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Recommended grade level: K-3
Format: Nonfiction
Themes: Birds, nonfiction
Major Awards:
Chicago Public Library's Best Informational Books for Younger Readers
Cybils, Elementary & Middle Grade nonfiction
Bulletin Blue Ribbon from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
ALA Notable Children's Books
John Burroughs Riverby Award for Young Readers
AAAS's Science Books & Films Best List
Illinois State Libr
I did a children's project on feathers this month for our area library. This was, hands down, the best book I found on feathers!
Kathryn Dykes
Stewart, Melissa. Feathers: Not Just for Flying. Charlesbridge, 2014. 32 p. Gr. 1-4.

Plot Summary: Discover the beauty, multipurpose functions, and fascinating tidbits that bird feathers can possess. Sixteen different varieties of birds and their feathers are closely examined throughout this book, from a blue jay whose feathers act as a warm blanket, to the willow ptarmigans’ who grow long feathers over their toes, allowing them to scamper across the snow in the winter. Melissa Stewart provides e
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Feathers do so many things for birds and this book looks at all of the ways that feathers help birds in the wild. Sixteen different birds are featured in the book, each one with a specific focus on what they use their feathers for. There is the wood duck who lines her nest with feathers to keep her eggs cushioned. The red-tailed hawk uses their feather to protect them from the sun as they fly for hours. Other birds use their feathers in unique ways like the rosy-faced lovebird who tucks nesting ...more
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informative
Title: Feathers: Not Just for Flying
Author: Melissa Stewart
Genre: Nonfiction

Summary: This book is a useful tool when teaching children about birds. It accounts all the uses birds have for feathers. It shows kids the different kids of birds and the protective and useful ways they use their feathers.

Criteria for nonfiction: At the end of the book the author gives a description of how she comes to writing her books. She says she uses the internet (for journal articles from experts), her own observa
Jim Erekson
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Stewart made a cross-cutting narrative that was a clear arc across the entire book, using similes to find human connection to the information. This broader presentation is in large print at the top of each page, suggesting a read-aloud of the entire book to get the main point (diverse functions of feathers on various kinds of birds) before coming back to look at the detailed text vignettes on each page that explain feather functions in more informational terms.

Remarkable illustrations, challeng
Charity Stewart
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What did you think of the book? I think this book is fascinating-just because it's not something you typically think about. I think bird are gross but learning about their feathers and learning that they are used for more than just flying is interesting.
What resonated with you? learning that feathers are used for more than flying -such as protecting birds from the sun and rain. It is not something you typically think about.
Where were you most drawn into the story? There wasn't a particular part
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart (2014). LOVE THIS BOOK! So many possibilities. Stewart focuses on just birds' feathers and the many different purposes of feathers. Each page or two-page spread has a statement with a simile in large print like "Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella." Then there is a text box with smaller print describing how one particular bird (like the Tricolored heron, Florida Everglades) uses its feathers in this way. Students 2nd-5th will enjoy listeni ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: k-3rd grade
Good explanations about how feathers vary depending on the bird and. The author describes the feathers' functions by comparing to familiar objects such as a sponge, pillow and sled. Recognizable and easy method for kids to understand. Watercolor illustrations are clear and the book's format is that of a journal or scrapbook with pictures taped, stapled or pinned in. The last two-page spread shows types of feathers one bird may have on its body.

There are a few problems. The two-page spread showi
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Did you know feathers can protect like sunscreen, or dig holes like a backhoe? I didn't, until this book, which compares the jobs of feathers to human needs. It gives students a better understanding of the various functions.
Presented like a scrapbook, each bird has a headline introduction, images of the bird in their environment, a fact piece, a closeup of a feather, and something that represents the job. Each piece looks like a separate piece of paper or an object, and some are taped to the 'b
Shay Rost
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Feathers: Not Just For Flying" is a nonfiction book for ages 5-8. This book teaches us all about bird feathers. The author writes about the different kind of birds and their feathers and uses similes to help us learn about the birds they come from and that feathers are useful for them in many ways; they don't just use them to fly. This book has illustrations to accompany the authors information, so students can begin to identify what different feathers look like.

Another book that we can use to
I love it when I discover picture book nonfiction that teaches me something new. While picture book nonfiction is, of course, designed to teach children, I'm always extra impressed when I learn something new as well. To me that means the author and illustrator have done their homework and made the book as good as possible. The author has done a fabulous job sharing information about feathers that I'd never heard before. For example, I had no idea that some birds use some of their feathers to dig ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Part journal, part scrap-book, this creative non-fiction is a superb way of getting children acquainted with the subject. We loved the presentation and style of the book. The facts are easy to read and nicely summarized. Kids will love to read unusual facts such as how the heron will raise its wings while searching for food. The shade blocks out the sun’s glare and allows it to spot tasty fish to eat.

I am continuously impressed by the creative presentation of Non Fiction picture books. Making no
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Filled with lovely and detailed watercolor illustrations, this book offers readers plenty of interesting information about feathers. The title of the book pretty much reveals its content. Much as most of us might associate the feathers that bedeck birds with their flight, there is much more to feathers than that marvelous function. The author describes how feathers can warm or shade birds, cushion them and their eggs, and even function as sunscreen. For every advantage listed for feathers, the t ...more
Deb Jones
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Feathers Not Just For Flying, 16 birds are observed on the practical purposes of their feathers. The life-size illustrations and realistic watercolors show the differences and similarities between these beautiful birds. Each page begins with feathers can…then elaborate on the distinct job of a bird’s lifeline. From offering camouflage to digging holes, feathers are revealed for more than a pretty outer shell. Below each illustration, the author offers detailed information on where the birds l ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Very interesting informational text--and what a way to think about organizing a topic. Great for showing how a broad statement (feathers can warm like a blanket) can (should?) be followed with a specific example/supporting details (on cold, damp days a blue jay stays warm by fluffing up its feathers and trapping a layer of warm air next to its skin). And I could teach gerunds, too! A great addition to this book is the author's note in the back where she talks about how she got the topic idea (wh ...more
This is a great nonfiction picture book about feathers and their myriad uses. I loved how different types of feathers are compared to different items - jewelry, backhoes, sponges, life jackets and snowshoes. Each page has two levels of text. The main text compares the feathers to the objects. Each page also has a short paragraph giving more information about the comparison. Each comparison also has a picture of the bird using its feathers in the cited manner, a picture of the feathers that are b ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I fell in love with the layout of this book. It looks like a scrapbook — handwritten notes that appear to be taped next to snapshots and feathers, all collected and arranged lovingly and artistically across the pages. Not only did it go into the difference between feather (down vs. flight feathers, etc.), but it also discussed the different uses for feathers (did you know that some birds use their feathers to sweep dirt out of the nests that they dig in the ground?) My son left our reading of th ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Everyone can learn something from "Feathers;" no matter what the age! With each page I turned, I couldn't help but be reminded of the creativity of God in usage, design, and purpose of the feather. One of my favorite parts in the book is Melissa's author's note in the back. In plain language, she explains to her young readers the process she goes through when researching for a new book. This explanation is valuable to students because it is easily a way they could research something as well. The ...more
Becky B
Melissa Stewart takes readers on a quick survey of many of the uses of feathers other than just flying or keeping birds warm. In doing so she also highlights a good variety of birds from all over the world, that are fantastically illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen.

If you're studying birds, make sure to include this. It is a fairly quick read, but covers a topic that is not frequently covered in this depth by any school textbook or very many other picture books either. There is a main text which is
Alyssa Stanley
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction- Picture Book
I really enjoyed this nonfiction picture book. I would recommend using this book with primary elementary aged students. The book discusses the different purposes for feathers other than flying. For example feathers can be used for warmth, for shade, or for cushion. The book also has fantastic illustrations of the different types of feathers. On each page it also highlights one of the birds and its purpose for feather.

This is a great book to focus on different non-fiction
Marathon County Public Library
Did you know that feathers help a bird to do more than fly and keep warm? Feathers can be like a sponge, or a backhoe! Sixteen birds and the special ways they use their feathers are featured. The multi-layered text allows adults to read the book to younger children with optional details for older children.  

Katie Z. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sixteen different birds are featured in this non-fiction book, which shows what their particular feathers are used for. For instance, did you know that a blue jay has many different lengths of blue, white and gray feathers in order to keep warm when the weather turns cold. The female lovebird uses its feathers to carry sticks to its nesting place. This is a very interesting book children who are trying to learn about birds. The descriptions are simple and pictures in the book are so useful.
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 910L
Pages: 32

Summary: What makes a bird a bird? Feathers! There are many types and uses for feathers. Each one has a specific look and purpose. Additional information is found in the back.

Recommendations or Comments: Many people probably do not realize how feathers work nor the engineering behind them. Color, shape, size are all designed for a specific need the bird has. This book gives a good overview and hopefully will give readers a better appreciation of our feathered friends.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a lovely book! I am a sucker for birds and for lovely watercolor artwork, so this book won me over quickly. This would be a great resource for children who are interested in the nature and birds, it would also be great for parents or teachers as they teach about birds and feathers. The comparisons of feathers to different objects could make for an interesting activity for young children to use those objects for their intended purposes and talk about how cool it is that birds don't need ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Water Can Be...
  • Schnitzel: A Cautionary Tale for Lazy Louts
  • Inky the Octopus
  • Over and Under the Pond
  • My Heart Fills With Happiness
  • Giant Squid
  • A Rock Is Lively
  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • An Egg Is Quiet
  • Niko Draws a Feeling
  • A Nest Is Noisy: (Nature Books for Kids, Children's Books Ages 3-5, Award Winning Children's Books)
  • Good Trick Walking Stick
  • Ocean Meets Sky
  • Spring Blossoms
  • Norbert's Big Dream
  • I Want My Hat Back
  • Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs: A Maynard Moose Tale
  • What Makes Us Unique?: Our First Talk about Diversity
See similar books…
Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 science and nature books for children. She offers a wide range of programs for schools, libraries, nature centers, and conferences." ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
12 likes · 1 comments