The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

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The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the sort of book which children have to plead with the adults to let them have a look at. Everything about it is superb. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 26 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Fine Feather Press Ltd
ISBN: 978-1908489258

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Take a well-put-together board book (don't worry about it being a board book - no one is going to suggest that they're a bit too old for that), add exquisite pictures of a dozen birds - one on each double-page spread - and then fill in the details. You'll need the name of the bird in English and Latin and a description of the bird in words which a child can understand but which won't patronise an adult. Then you'll need details of where the bird is found, what it eats, where it nests, how many eggs it lays, how the male and female adults differ and their size. Then you need a 'Did you know?' fact and this needs to be something which will interest children, but which adults might not know either. Does it sound simple? Well it isn't, but 'The Little Book of Garden Bird Song' does it perfectly. And there's a bonus, but I'll tell you about that in a moment.

The pictures are beautiful - they bring the birds to life and you can really see the details, from how the feathers lie and the shape of the beak through to how the claws grip a branch. There's a wide selection of birds too - greenfinch, dunnock, song thrush, great tit, black cap, blue tit, blackbird, goldfinch, carrion crow, chaffinch, robin and my particular favourite - the wren. It's a careful selection - in most parts of the country you're likely to encounter some if not all of the birds.

The details are clear - you'll know where to look for each bird and sometimes that's an aid to identification. You'll recognise the eggs - but please restrict this to looking at the broken shells rather than into nests. But it's the 'Did You Know?' facts which I loved. Did you know that the most successful male great tits have the largest black stripes down their fronts? Or that the male wren build several nests in spring and the female can choose which one she likes?

But I was going to tell you about the bonus, wasn't I? My husband picked this book up before me and on a particularly snowy day I really couldn't understand why there was so much birdsong around - and there were even a couple of birds which I couldn't readily identify. Then I found out why. To the right of the book cover is a panel with pictures of the individual birds and when you press the picture of a bird its song is played. The quality of the recording is good enough to fool me - and we have a lot of birdsong in our garden. The recordings are battery powered but don't worry about little fingers getting to the battery - you need one of those very small screwdrivers which you can never find when you need one to open the battery compartment.

It just goes to prove that you are never too old for a board book - or a sound book for that matter. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

Adults looking for more information about birds will enjoy How to be a BAD Birdwatcher by Simon Barnes. Children who are interested in garden wildlife will appreciate The Boy Who Lost His Bumble by Trudi Esberger and Dead or Alive? by Clive Gifford and Sarah Horne.

Buy The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Book of Garden Bird Song by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham at Amazon.com.


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