Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mama Built a Little Nest” as Want to Read:
Mama Built a Little Nest
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mama Built a Little Nest

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  951 ratings  ·  177 reviews
A delightful exploration of the incredibly variety of nests birds build for their babies, illustrated by a Caldecott Honoree.

Mama built a little nest
inside a sturdy trunk.
She used her beak to tap-tap-tap
the perfect place to bunk.

There are so many different kinds of birds—and those birds build so many different kinds of nests to keep their babies cozy. With playful, bouncy
ebook, with audio recording, 40 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Beach Lane Books (first published March 1st 2014)
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 Mama Built a Little Nest, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mama Built a Little Nest

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  951 ratings  ·  177 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mama Built a Little Nest
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully illustrated and simple text that allows the youngest nature enthusiasts to discover the wonders of birds, their nests, and their babies.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more Picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

A book exploring the different materials and places that a variety of birds build their nests. Rhyming verse for the child to read paired with explanations for the adults.

This book caught my eye right away. I loved the cut paper nature of the drawings and how they captured the unique locations and materials for the nests. My nephew quite enjoyed the different nests and learning about the birds.

The problem with the book lay in the o
Katt Hansen
Ooooh...poetry that's fun and easy to read, with more details about nests hidden in the corners for the parents to share or not share. It's so much fun to learn about all the different nest types. The pictures are simple and convey the ideas well, and make me want to hunt for nests outside now that I know what to look for. :) ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am currently interning in a school library and wanted to book to read to the kids as part of an activity about birds. I definitely now want to use this book for a few reasons. The illustrations are beautiful and simple enough that the kids can see what is going on without having to be right on top of the book. There is just enough information to let the kids know what is going on in each picture, but not so many words that they might get bored while I read each page. There is some additional i ...more
I learned so much about birds from this beautifully illustrated book! Plus, the text is well-written and fascinating
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Both simple and informative with poems and pretty pictures.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With rhyming text, Jennifer Ward reveals the art of nest making and the diversity of nests - locations, materials, etc. Each two-page layout features one bird like the woodpecker, the cowbird, the wren. There is the rhyming text in a larger print, and then is also a caption, in smaller print, with more detailed, non-rhyming text about that particular bird's nest making. The illustrations by Steve Jenkins support the details described in the text. The author's note at the end is worthy of reading ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A few things i learned from this book:

1. A hummingbird uses spiderweb so the little nest will stretch as the chicks grow.
2. The cowbird, whydah, and cuckoo find a nest built by another bird species. They lay their eggs in it and fly off, leaving their eggs in the care of the bird who built the nest.
3. The swiftlet makes an edible nest using tube-shaped saliva, which hardens in the air. Swiftlet nests are used in bird's nest soup, a Chinese delicacy.

Who knew?!
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Wonderful illustrations and the rhyming entries are generally good. I thought the factual entry on each page was difficult to read, type often lost in the illustration. The final page about a human "nest" being a bed was both inaccurate and overly sentimental. ...more
Juli Anna
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Cute, and fantastic collaged illustrations. The bedtime bid at the end was a bit weak.
Darcy Grabenstein
Yolen, J., & Stemple, H. (2015). You nest here with me. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press.

Reading Rockets. (2017). Concept sorting. Retrieved from

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, is an endearing story in rhyme that compares a child going to bed with birds nesting. The authors use a wide variety of birds in the story allowing students to see common birds that they may be familiar with, as well as birds that may be new or unfamilia
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
Theme: Birds, Nesting, Shapes and Sizes
Grade level: Prek-2nd
Awards: Notable Children's Books, 2015

Summary- Mama built a little nest and the nest was built inside a sturdy trunk. This book shows how different types of birds build their nests in different ways and this makes all the birds unique in their own way. One bird is the hummingbird, which makes its nest in a small cup form. The book also talks about birds like the woodpecker, the cowbird, the emperor pengui
Olivia Rullman
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mama Built a Little Nest explores the complex meaning of "home" and how it can look different from bird to bird, or even person to person. Ward uses vivid images and descriptive rhyming words to explain how each unique nest is constructed by its' species. Throughout the book, the mother, sometimes alongside the father, is pictured creating a safe homestead, whether it be silky, muddy, made from sticks or spit, for the offspring. In addition to the author's playful, light-hearted words, she provi ...more
Nyapot Hogan
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Content-area crossover -Science
Twin Text: Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin and Rob Dunlavey
"Owl Sees Owl" Is a story about a baby owl who leaves his nest at night to go exploring. Leaving his Mama, brother, and sister he flies past the trees, the beautiful autumn leaves, past the light of the moon and to the pond where he sees his reflection, gets scared and flies back to his nest with his Mama, Brother, and Sister.

I would do a K-W-L chart for this one because "Mama Built a Little Nest" is about the
Jennifer Heise
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charming illustrations, good choice of subjects, and a rhyming text make this a great read on birds and nests. Pair with An Egg Is Quiet and A Nest Is Noisy:, as well as Feathers for Lunch. ...more
Jun 11, 2020 added it
Shelves: informational
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's both a pretty picture book and a non-fiction book in one. The different birds that are included are highlighted because they each have different kinds of nests and habitats; in addition to the pictures and rhyming text there are factual / informational inserts. The book can get a bit long so I skipped some of the pages on some readings. The ending is nice (if reading at bedtime) as it ends with a child's nest (their bed). ...more
Sandy Brehl
This appealing picture book combines rhyming verses, parallel informative text, and "aw"-inspiring illustrations to convey specific details and reveal a broader concept about the what, how, and why of nests. There are many ways in which this book serves as mentor text for conveying factual content in verse, for extending information in concise text, for organizing of the overall content in relation to each component, and for drawing satisfying conclusions. ...more
Courtney Thrift
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mama built a little nest is from the perspective of a baby bird. It talks about parent birds building a nest or even borrowing nest. It explains materials birds use for their "home".

I love the poetry used to write this book! It keeps non-fiction fun for students!

I think it would be fun to build a "nest" along with this book in the classroom. It would also be a great time to introduce different habitats for different animals.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite lessons where students can study different nest and then create them. I use a lot of different examples, as well as artist like Andy Goldsworthy and other environmental artists to introduce them to creating nest. This book is great, there are little poems for each nest, as well as footnotes to explore.
Kelly Case Burroughs
This is a wonderful book about bird families and the types of intricate nests that these birds build. I will be using it as part of a science unit where my students will create their own birds nest. Aside from the pleasant rhyme throughout the book, there is also factual information offered and beautiful illustrations. It will be a permanent addition to my
Classroom Science Library.
Gabrielle Stoller
A nonfiction text yet one that also has storytime capabilities. I realized that I need to use this one! Children learn so so much with books like these--or so I have found. I don't want to be hit over the head with facts but "Mama Built a Little Nest" does it in a subtle way.

So be prepared to learn about all the different types of nests different birds make. Some are made from spit. LOL
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a cute story about birds and the different ways they build their homes. I used it for a bird storytime and it went over pretty well. I think it's a good book to use to illustrate that birds make different sorts of nests, just like people live in different sorts of homes. ...more
Hanne Heimonen
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ed535-book-shelf
This book is compelling concept book about birds. It introduces different birds and their nests to the reader. I liked that there is a story part with rhymes and an information part under every bird. You can chose to read only the story or also the information that tells more about the bird.
Emily Clare
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A great book about different types of birds. Definitely harder vocabulary so I would use it in an older elementary classroom, maybe fourth or fifth grade. Love how in detail they go about birds' lives however.

ATOS Book Level: 4.3
Lexile: 860L

Six+1 Trait: Sentence Fluency
Even without reading the smaller informational text, this book was a little long for preschoolers. Still, the pictures are so nice, and the information is so interesting that I would certainly use this book again, especially with an elementary-aged group.
Alyssa Gudenburr
An AWESOME book about all the different nests birds build for their babies. Each page has a short paragraph that rhymes about each nest and some facts that give further information about the particular bird/nest/eggs. Would make a great storytime book or read aloud.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Fascinating information on how a variety of birds build nests and take care of their eggs. Several of the birds we hadn't even heard of. The way the fun facts were intertwined in the book made it all the more interesting. ...more
Fantastic book to add to any bird's storytime. Pair it with a STEM loose parts nest-building activity. Jennifer Ward's text is interesting, informative, and accessible for the littlest bird enthusiasts. As always, Steve Jenkins illustrations are stunning. Recommended for preK-2. ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an interesting book! The illustrations/art is great and I learned a lot about birds and their nests. There's so many different kind of nests! Did you know humming birds use spiderwebs to their little nest would stretch as the baby birds grow? How cool! I had no idea. ...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

  • The Best Nest
  • Old Rock (Is Not Boring)
  • Child of the Universe
  • Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear
  • Penguin Problems
  • Truman
  • The Book Hog
  • Little Beauty
  • City Dog, Country Frog
  • Olivia (Olivia, #1)
  • We Are Water Protectors
  • The Crayon Man: the True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons
  • The Watermelon Seed
  • Snail Crossing
  • I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness
  • Malala's Magic Pencil
  • Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
See similar books…
Jennifer Ward is the author of more than 25 award-winning nonfiction and fiction books for children and adults.

Her books have been translated into many languages and featured in Martha Stewart's Living, Ranger Rick, on NPR, television's Animal Planet network, and on many popular blogs such as Soule Mama.

Most of Jennifer's books are inspired by science and nature and artfully combine elements of ST

News & Interviews

Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
166 likes · 42 comments