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Birds Hardcover – Feb 17 2009
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“The words and pictures create a book that will enchant preschool audiences again and again.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Words and pictures perform a perfectly choreographed dance here.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“The child voice in this charming story is just right and will resonate with the very youngest children.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Birds trust[s] the intelligence and imagination of young children, and that’s what makes this a perfect book.” (New York Times Book Review)
About the Author
Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon; Caldecott Honors for Owen and Waiting; two Newbery Honors—one for Olive’s Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller—and Geisel Honors for Penny and Her Marble and for Waiting. His other books include Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.
Laura Dronzek is a painter whose work has been exhibited nationally. Her picture books include Moonlight, by Helen V. Griffith; the acclaimed Birds, by Kevin Henkes; and White Is for Blueberry, by George Shannon. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sometimes there are many birds all lined up in a row on a telephone wire. You can hear them chatter if you are close enough, but every now and then if you look away "for just a second . . . gone!" In this book you will see amazing patterns that birds would create if their tail feathers were like paintbrushes and "made marks with their feathers when they flew," or what birds would look like if they were clouds in the morning or at night. You will see them in trees and BOOM flying up and away to the sky. Have you ever wondered where birds go when it rains?
The text and the art work blend together in a magical way to bring the love of birds and birdwatching to the young child. Many children seem to share their fascination of birds with their parents. This book is easy to read, especially given the visuals, but would be much more fun if someone read it to them. It's a perfect book to read aloud during circle time as well. Birds are beautiful creatures, aren't they?
An open window
A curtain blowing in the breeze
Pink cherry blossoms against a backdrop of clear blue sky
A robin perched on a branch, head raised, mouth opened wide, singing his morning song
The above describes the first of many simple but moving illustrations. Laura Dronzek's artwork flows so perfectly with the text that I had to double check if Henkes both wrote AND illustrated this book. When the text is basic, the art is basic. But when the text builds and becomes more imaginative, so does the art.
The imaginative section is my favorite part of the book. I love the following text and the illustration it inspires.
"If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like." Here Dronzek shares her vision of the sky in a colorfully busy, exciting, and almost chaotic image.
"If clouds were birds the sky would look like this. Or this." Here the artwork moves the reader into tranquility. On one page, yellow and blue create a beautiful sunset over water with yellow bird-clouds soaring above. The next page has a lovely night sky image where three bird-clouds sleep, curled up peacefully among the stars and under a full moon. The next spread carries this peaceful moment forward with a soothing snow scene. Snowflakes fill the pages, and a lone cardinal rests on a branch in a naked tree. Then, SURPRISE! Silhouettes of birds crowd the branches of the leafless tree. The next spread brings an explosion of black against the blue sky as a swarm of bird silhouettes takes flight.
I also love the image of a little girl wearing a red dress and surrounded by nature. With her arms stretched out, she pretends to fly while a cardinal leads the way. Here the text reveals that the little girl realizes that while it is fun to pretend she is a bird, children can't really fly. However, there is something children can do like a bird. . . .
Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa (Mom's Choice and Independent Publisher Awards Recipient)
She absolutely loves the illustrations and I enjoy reading this lovely book.
Her favorite part is the one where all the birds are on the tree and leave at the same time, and she shouts "surprise!" on the 2nd page (for those who have read the book, you know what I mean).
She loves the page which talks about how some birds are so dark all that you can see are their shapes, and says every time we read it, "can't see, only the shape,"
It is a lovely lovely book and I look forward to more from this husband wife team. This inspired us to check out Oh! and other books by this couple, as well as Kevin Henkes's books...