The other day, I was just about home from a long walk with my camera. There was a robin on the ground just hanging out and a bird call not too far away that did not belong to the robin. I looked up and a tree blocked my view and I followed the sound with my eyes. There in the grey sky was a silhouette of a large bird that was familiar to me but out of place. It had a tufted head and was larger than a Blue jay and much lager than a Cardinal. I am 99% sure it was a Pileated Woodpecker. My camera kept losing the bird and going in and out of focus. I never got a photo. Just a quickly as the bird was there, it's call and silhouette disappeared. Just gone as if swallowed by a cloud. That's it. I stood and watched the sky, but nothing. The woodpecker had disappeared and I wondered if I had imagined the whole thing.
Title: Two Many Birds
Author/Illustrator: Cindy Derby
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2020
Ages: 4 - 8
Themes: Birds, Trees, Rules, Humor
Opening: We see a "bird guard" sitting on a tall chair and a sign that reads 00 under him. The sign on the tree reads: Maximum Occupancy 100 Birds. A bird is heading for the empty tree.
The guard begins to yell out rule after rule. The biggest rule is that there can only be 100 birds in the tree at one time. Having been a lifeguard at my local Y, I feel the poor guards frustration. The things I had to say no to were amazing. Like when someone threw up in the pool and we had to do clean up, people didn't want to get out. Yuck! The worst rule to have to enforce was when we were at capacity and you had to tell people they couldn't swim until others got out. But, there's often a good reason for rules. When the birds turn on the guard, it doesn't go well, but this guard finds a way to put his rules to good use.
Cindy's imagination and playfulness with her art is a blast.
Kids can count along as the birds find their spot on the tree.
Title: Not Your Nest!
Author: Gideon Sterer
Illustrator: Andrea Tsurumi
Publishers: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2019
Ages: 4 - 8
Themes: Birds, Nests, Friendship
Opening Lines: This is my nest. I designed it. I searched for sticks. I hope it will be as comfy as planned.
We quickly discover that the little yellow bird's nest is quite popular. The bird makes more nests only to have each taken over by another animal.
It's sort of a variation on The Little Red Hen story with lots of fun animals and silliness.
This is a fun and funny story about sharing with a quirky animal cast.
Activities and Resources:
Make some finger print birds. How silly can they be?
Check out Cindy's Website.
This is a post from a writer's 30 day challenge called Storystorm to come up with story ideas. Cindy asks everyone to create a writer's block creature. It's a fun prompt and can be used for art, writing, or just having some fun.
Have a discussion about rules. When are they important? When have they gone over the line?
Plant a tree.
Check out Gideon's website.
Check out Andrea's website.
Learn different bird songs with Bird Song Hero.
Participate in Global Migratory Bird Day on May 8th.
(The links are affiliate links. I'm not in this for the money, just trying to get you the quickest way to get the book for your kids, your library, or your school classroom. At Bookshop.org, I have begun a few booklists including my Perfect Picture Book Friday and my Graphic novel picks. I recently added a middle grade and an adult book list.) Not Your Nest at Amazon and from Bookshop.org.
Check out Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday Blog to discover more cool books to read with your kids and add to your collection.