Non-fiction Picture Book Wednesday - Bird Talk

Author/Illustrator: Lita Judge
Publisher: Flash Point/Macmillan (March 13, 2012)
Source: Personal Copy
Read Aloud: Grades 1st to 4th
Independent Reading: Grades 2nd to 5th
Nonfiction * Communication * Birds

Description from GoodReads:
A gorgeously illustrated tribute to birds of all kinds and the fantastic, funny, fascinating things that they do.

Birds have lots of ways of communicating: They sing and talk, dance and drum, cuddle and fight. But what does all of the bird talk mean?
Filled with gorgeous illustrations, this fascinating picture book takes a look at the secret life of birds in a child-friendly format that is sure to appeal to readers of all ages - whether they're die-hard bird-watchers or just curious about the creatures in their own backyards.

My thoughts on this book:
Since I have been keeping an eye out for nonfiction picture books, I have been looking for this book for several months.  I was so excited when it finally showed up in my local bookstore this past week.  From the title and the cover, I was curious to discover what the book would entail.  Would it be funny? Easy to read? Dry and boring? I am happy to report that the illustrations are gorgeous watercolors.  You must check out the link below where Lita Judge has posted examples of the pages.

This is one of my favorites in the book (apologies for the bad photography).  Don't you just love that illustration of the Blue Bird hanging upside down and showing off? 

The pairing of various colored birds on a page or the featuring of one bird on a stark white background catches the eye and draws the reader in.  Isn't this picture of a Palm Cockatoo gorgeous? 

As for the text, I enjoyed how Judge set up each section before going into further explanation.  The book looks at various forms of communication that birds use.  For example, "Parents and chicks learn the sound of each others voices." is then followed by several examples of how this occurs with various birds.  

What I also enjoyed about Bird Talk is that it didn't fall into the heavily technical end of nonfiction.  It reads well, provides just the right amount of information about bird communication to help younger readers develop a basic understanding which will hopefully propel them into further reading on the topic.  I liked the pages at the end where the list of birds is provided.  However, I would have loved to see a suggestion for further reading for children included at the end.  

Judge's Bird Talk would make a beautiful addition to a school's or classroom's library.  Look for this book at your local school or public library, or consider purchasing it at your local independent bookstore.

Click here to read a blog post where Lita Judge discusses Bird Talk.  Check out the examples of the artwork, click here

For more information about Lita Judge: website | blog | YouTube | twitter  

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