Read Aloud Thursday: Birds

Seven Hungry Babies We finished up our month long discussion of things that fly in preschool with a week talking about birds. David is quite a bird lover and watcher so he had a great time. In this cute book by Candace Fleming a mother bird goes one by one to get something to eat for her seven hungry baby birds. Finally they all are fed and sleeping and she lies down to rest. Any mother can guess the ending of this all too true to life book. I had fun referring back to it all week every time I heard the constant refrain of “I’m hungry! What can I have to eat?” coming from our kitchen. Many of the components of a great preschool book are present here: rhyme, repetition, and counting. The illustrations are vivid, cartoon-like and very fun.

The Perfect Nest

In this endearing and funny book by Catherine Friend, a cat makes “a perfect nest” to attract birds that he hopes will lay him some perfect eggs that he can use to make omelets. His nest attracts a chicken , a duck and a goose who fight over the nest. I love that the author has each bird have a different accent (the duck is french, the goose from the South). The cat finally manages to chase the silly birds away so he can finally have the eggs,only to have the eggs hatch. The babies (who speak in the same accents as their mothers) immediately adopt him as their father. He resists at first, but in the end he happily accepts his new role. Leaving the Nest I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how much my boys loved this book by Mordecai Gerstein. The concept seemed a bit over their heads but they really liked the cartoon format and requested it multiple times so I’m including it here as having their full recommendation. A baby blue jay, a kitten, a baby squirrel and a little girl on a bike each struggle with wanting to leave the nest and try new things but also wanting the security of home. Their stories each overlap in the girl’s backyard.

Those Darn Squirrels!

Technically, this book is probably more about squirrels than birds but since we have a lot of both in our yard it seemed appropriate. Old Man Fookwire loves birds and hates everything else (even puppies and pie). He especially hates the squirrels that try and take the food from his bird feeders. He devises all sorts of plans for getting rid of the squirrels that they outwit. In the end though the squirrels find a way to convince him that they might be even better friends than his beloved birds.

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12)

This biography of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies was too advanced for a preschooler but my 7 yr old really liked it. I didn’t know much about Audubon so I found it very interesting myself. It focuses on his early years and is accompanied by lovely illustrations by Melissa Sweet that are a combination of pen and ink sketches, watercolor and photographs of  birds, nests and eggs.

Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken

Seeing Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss as author and illustrator of a book creates some high expectations.  Louise, quirky adventure story with a chicken heroine, doesn’t disappoint. It’s a long read-aloud with several short chapters. It’s easily done in one setting but probably better for an elementary age student than a preschooler.

United Tweets of America: 50 State BirdsTheir Stories, Their Glories

We all had a lot of fun with this book. Hudson Talbott devotes a page to each state bird. There is a little bit of text with fun facts about the bird and the state. The detailed illustrations also add another level of information but usually in a comical way. For example, the Virginia page has 8 cardinals all as caricatures of the 8 presidents born in Virginia. This would be a great book to use when studying US geography as well as for learning about the different birds.

Be sure to stop by Hope is the Word to see what others are reading this week.

7 thoughts on “Read Aloud Thursday: Birds

  1. A couple of your descriptions of these books raises an interesting topic in child-rearing: how much does one cater to a child’s present interests and intellectual and emotional levels, and how much do you push those boundaries? I’m not thinking of just books, but also other entertainment/cultural arenas, such as movies/videos, or say, taking a child to a museum.
    The great thing about five-in-a-row is that the risks are relatively low, especially when you check out 20 library books that can take a child on 20 different mini-adventures. The stakes are a little higher, when say you’re planning a vacation to Boston, and you have maybe time to go to 2 museums, or it’s Friday night and you have like 5 minutes to decide standing in front of the Red Box at the 7-11 while its raining, and there are maybe only 5 mildly interesting kids’ movies to choose from, and your kids have seen the 4 best of those 5…

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