Monday, August 4, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: About Parrots a guide for children by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill

The Sills have previously written books about broad categories of animals - birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. I'm hopeful that their forays into specific birds, first hummingbirds and now parrots, mean that more volumes on specific animals will be forthcoming.

The book opens with a simple explanation of parrots and then describes briefly their characteristics, habitats, and habits. Each spread has a simple, concise sentence paired with a stunning illustration of a different parrot. The book ends with the sentence that ends all the titles in this series - that it's important to protect parrots and the places where they live. Back matter includes thumbnails of all the colored plates with additional information about each bird or action pictured, a brief glossary, further resources, and suggested reading. There is also lists of some of the Sill's other titles.

What I really love about this series, and about this book in particular, is how carefully the pictures illustrate the characteristics described in the text. So when the text reads "Most parrots use their feet to climb and swing from branches" the accompanying illustration shows two Blue-Topped Hanging Parrots doing just that - climbing and hanging upside-down from a branch. I especially like the close-up illustration of a Blue-and-yellow Macaw using its claw to hold a piece of food to its beak, as the text explains how parrots use their feet to feed themselves.

I'm looking forward to creating a bird storytime using this title. The pictures make great flannel boards/matching games and the brilliant colors give an added dimension for younger kids, if you want to play a color matching game.

Verdict: Beautiful illustrations, text that works both as a read-aloud and for beginning readers on their own, and plenty of scope for expanding into a lesson or storytime. What more could you possibly want in an easy nonfiction book? I highly recommend that every library has a complete collection of this series and definitely add this latest gem to your collection.

ISBN: 9781561457953; Published 2014 by Peachtree; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library

For more reviews of this title, follow the blog tour!
Tuesday 8/5- Geo Librarian and Kid Lit Reviews
Wednesday 8/6Chat with Vera
Thursday 8/7Blue Owl and Kid Lit Frenzy
Friday 8/8The Fourth Musketeer

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