The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell

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The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's a variation of the where's Wally books which we all love to waste time on, only this time it's birds in locations around the world. Great fun.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1843653264

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Recently I stood on a viewing platform at the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs as a very helpful volunteer guided my sight line to one of the puffins who'd arrived on the cliffs in the last few days. Finally, I found one, after visually sorting through all the other birds on the precipitous cliff face. It was great fun and very rewarding. The third double-page spread in wild-life author and artist Matt Sewell's first book for children, The Big Bird Spot, shows some cliffs very like those at Bempton, but this time you're going to be looking for twenty three Little Auks, in amongst the guillemots, puffins, herring gulls and razorbills. Oh, and you're looking for a pair of binoculars too: our bird watcher is very careless, because you're going to have to find them in every picture.

And when you've found all the little auks, you can move on to the other locations. Pack wisely, because it's a round-the-world trip. As well as the sea cliffs you get to see birds in a flowering meadow, the jungle, a farm, Indian temple gardens, the desert, the city, high in the Alps, in the woods, in the Serengeti, the snowy pines and the rainforest in the late evening. So - a wonderful assortment of locations and a massive variety of birds. Some of the birds are easy to spot - only they're not usually the ones you're looking for! Birds have evolved to be largely invisible in their natural habitat - it's how they stay safe from predators and Matt Sewell has demonstrated that well.

The book's gently educational, but not worthily so: it never forgets that this is fun. If you can't spot all the birds there are answers at the back of the book along with identifications of the other birds in the picture - so you don't just learn to identify particular birds, you also learn to distinguish between them. I had great fun, but this isn't an easy set of puzzles: you need to really study each picture, to get your eye in. On the three I tried I didn't find all the birds, but I came reasonably close. The only problem I had was in keeping count as I didn't want to mark the book, but torn-up tails of post it notes came to the rescue!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Another of Matt's books Penguins and Other Sea Birds was written for the adult market but will actually appeal to children who enjoy The Big Bird Spot. If your child is interested in birdsong we can recommend The Little Book of Woodland Bird Songs and The Little Book of Garden Bird Song. If you're looking for another search book, why not make it fiendishly difficult with Where's Wally: The Colouring Book by Martin Handford? We can also recommend My Book of Birds by Geraldo Valerio.

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Buy The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Bird Spot by Matt Sewell at


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