Sunday, January 1, 2012

For the Birds

I am trying to catch up to all those wonderful 700+ books I read in 2011 but did not have the chance to blog. So, mixed in with some new books will be some of the ones that I completed reading over the holidays. Here are two books that pair up nicely in the nonfiction category. One is a biography of a famous birder; the other discusses how birds communicate.

BIRD TALK: WHAT BIRDS ARE SAYING AND WHY by Lita Judge (Roaring Brook Press 2012) uses a bot of anthropomorphism (and what a great term to teach kids) to present information on how birds communicate with sound and with movement. Nicely detailed illustrations show readers grebes, boobies, and mergansers among other more familiar species as they communicate without words to others in their flock, to outside predators, and even to their human co-inhabitants. <688>

FOR THE BIRDS: THE STORY OF ROGER TORREY PETERSON by Peggy Thomas with illustrations by Jim LaMarche (Calkins Creek 2011) is a biography of the man who eventually went on to write the most practical and valuable field guides for birders. Peterson was intrigued by birds as a youth and pursued a career in painting them as an art student. Later, he worked as an environmentalist, a naturalist, a guide: all professions ultimately centered on his passion for wildlife, especially birds. LaMarche's illustrations are lush and seem lit with the same passion as their subject. <689>

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