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Cover image for Birds
Format:
Title:
Birds
ISBN:
9780061363047

9780061363054
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2009]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Summary:
Fascinated by the colors, shapes, sounds, and movements of the many different birds she sees through her window, a little girl is happy to discover that she and they have something in common.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning LG 2.1 0.5.

Accelerated Reader LG 2.1 0.5 128270.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.1 0.5 128270.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.4 1.0 45990.
Added Author:
Holds:

Available:*

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+ PRESCHOOL - HENKES
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J PICTURE BOOK - HENKES
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E HENKES
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Henkes
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HENKES
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HENKES
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JP HENKES
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JP Hen
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Henkes
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On Order

Summary

Summary

In what the New York Times Book Review calls "a perfect book," a little girl watches birds from her window and dreams she can fly. A board book edition of the critically acclaimed picture book from the award-winning husband-and-wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek. An ALA Notable Book.

Birds "will resonate with the youngest children," said School Library Journal. With a fine eye for detail, a girl observes and describes birds--their sizes, their colors, their shapes, the way they move and appear and disappear, and how they are most like her. She imagines what it would be like if clouds looked like birds, or if she could ask the birds questions. Though she can't fly, the girl can do one thing birds do--she can sing. Vibrant and lively paintings accompany a text pitched precisely to preschoolers in this husband-and-wife collaboration. This board book edition offers a fresh perspective and a new point of view to very young children. Booklist said, "Together, the words and pictures create a book that will enchant preschool audiences again and again."


Author Notes

Kevin Henkes was born in Racine, Wis. in 1960 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. One of four children in his family, Henkes grew up with aspirations of being an artist. As a junior in high school, one of Henkes's teachers awakened his interest in writing. Falling in love with both writing and drawing, Henkes realized that he could do both at the same time as a children's book author and illustrator.

At the age of 19, Henkes went to New York City to get his first book, All Alone, published. Since that time, he has written and illustrated dozens of picture books including Chrysanthemum, Protecting Marie, and A Weekend with Wendell. A recurring character in several of Henkes's books is Lily, an outrageous, yet delightful, individualist. Lily finds herself the center of attention in the books Chester's Way, Julius, the Baby of the World, and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse.

A Weekend With Wendell was named Children's Choice Book by the Children's Book Council in 1986. He recieved the Elizabeth Burr Award for Words of Stone in 1993. Owen was named a Caldicott Honor in 1994. The Year of Billy Miller was named a Newbery Honor book in 2014.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-This brief introduction to birds focuses on such basic features as their different colors and sizes. Soft acrylic paintings that appear as spreads, vignettes, and framed scenes match a text that perfectly conveys the young narrator's fascination with the birds in her environment. "Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire. They didn't move and they didn't move and they didn't move. I looked away for just a second.." Three lines of identically positioned birds on wires appear with the text across the spread. Then a page turn reveals a thick, black, empty wire stretched across a stark white spread along with the words "and they were gone." The youngster imagines what the sky would look like if the birds could make marks with their tails and how bird-clouds would look during the day and at night. She can't really fly like the birds, but the final page demonstrates one way in which she can imitate them. The child voice in this charming story is just right and will resonate with the very youngest children. And the little girl's musings can encourage more "what if" conversations that will spark their imaginations.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Husband-and-wife team Henkes and Dronzek (Oh!) record random thoughts about birds, enlivened by vignettes of thickly outlined bird shapes feathered with primary-school paintbox colors. Observations as spare as haiku-"Sometimes, in winter, a bird in a tree looks like one red leaf left over"-are pictured wistfully; here, a cardinal perches, leaf-like, on a high branch of a leafless tree. The appeal throughout is Henkes's ability to channel the way young children think ("If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like") and see ("If there are lots of birds in one tree and they all fly away at the same time, it looks like the tree yelled, 'SURPRISE!' "). Although the artwork most often follows the text's lead, richer moments come when Dronzek steps forward and does the imagining. "If clouds were birds, the sky would look like this," Henkes writes; with a dry, loosely wielded brush, Dronzek paints bird-shaped silhouettes of clouds tinted the same color as the setting sun they soar over. A kind of book of meditations for the very young, its reflective tone and peaceful illustrations make this an excellent bedtime choice. Ages 2-5. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Preschool) This is a book about bird watching, but it contains nothing about binoculars or life lists or the plumage of a herring gull in its second winter. Instead, in the voice of a young child, Henkes muses on birds, their colors and sizes, their movements and mysteries. Words and pictures perform a perfectly choreographed dance here. Dronzek's acrylic paintings, one part naive, one part William Steig, focus and expand the plain, poetic text. On a double-page spread of a late autumn tree blossoming with crows, the text reads, "If there are lots of birds in one tree and they all fly away at the same time, it looks like the tree yelled..." We turn the page, and the force of the bird explosion throws the word SURPRISE! -- bold and black and in type more than an inch tall -- high into the air. In the final pages we meet our narrator, staring out her window, joining a robin in song. We have moved from bird watching through bird wondering to bird being. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A precocious girl's reverie begins when the birds' morning songs drift through her window. Initially, she reflects on their vastly varied physical attributes; her thoughts then turn to the birds' relationship with their physical environment, both collectively and individually. Powerful images reflect their beauty. "Sometimes in winter, a bird in a tree looks like one red leaf left over." While the girl wishes to fly like birds she enjoys, she is encouraged by the commonality that unites them: "I can sing!" Dronzek's wavy black lines accentuate the birds' natural radiance; acrylic smudges exude a hazy glow. Dark bursts of color explode against the sky in a striking double-page spread as a flock takes flight en masse; the word "surprise" above outstretched branches reflects the thought with bold uneven letters. Spare language enhances the story's quiet essence; the girl's musings change abruptly, with a child's mercurial speed, resulting in a grounded offering that begins to fly but doesn't fully soar. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Created by a husband-and-wife team, this delightful picture book bridges the space between concept books and longer narrative stories. An unseen narrator hears birds singing through an open window and looks out to see birds that represent concepts, such as color, shape, size, and number. The story becomes more sophisticated as it progresses. The narrator's questions about birds open an exploration into more abstract, organic concepts about the natural environment: If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like, for example. At the story's end, the now-visible narrator, having imagined herself as a bird throughout the book, is back at her window, singing. Henkes' spare, direct words have a lyrical magic, while Dronzek's bright acrylic paintings, in saturated primary color and heavy black outlines, reflect the text's plain elegance while carrying an exuberant energy all their own. One particularly memorable spread shows a large flock of black birds filling the sky in elegant trajectories of flight. Together, the words and pictures create a book that will enchant preschool audiences again and again.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2009 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

BIRD, BUTTERFLY, EEL Written and illustrated by James Prosek. Unpaged. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $16.99. (Ages 6 to 10) IF there is such a thing as "nature deficit disorder" - the idea that because of DVDs, the Internet and you name it, children are disconnected from the natural world - these two books would be a good place to begin treatment. Both Kevin Henkes and James Prosek excel at observing nature. But where Prosek does so with the eye of a scientist - attentively studying a bird, a butterfly and an eel living near a New England farmhouse - Henkes takes the child's point of view. Laura Dronzek's acrylic paintings support Kevin Henkes's spare language in "Birds." Henkes and Laura Dronzek (husband and wife) begin with the birds outside a curtained window; a girl is thinking about all their possible colors, shapes and sizes. She imagines what it would look like if they left colored trails in the sky. Dronzek supports Henkes's spare language with strongly colored acrylic paintings in thick brush-stroked black outline. On one spread Henkes writes, "Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire." Dronzek paints seven birds clinging side by side, burnt umber feathers, tilted heads. "They didn't move," the narrator says, and the picture of the seven birds is exactly replicated below, and on the facing page. She repeats, "And they didn't move." Then, "I looked away for just a second. . . ." We turn the page. A black line bisects an empty double-page spread: the telephone wire. "And they were gone." Both words and pictures in "Birds" trust the intelligence and imagination of young children, and that's what makes this a perfect book. One doesn't know whom to praise more for the perfection of a finished work - the artist, the writer, the editor or the art director. In this case, most likely all can share the credit. It is probably not too much to say that James Prosek, author of the stunning "Trout: An Illustrated History," is this generation's Audubon. In "Bird, Butterfly and Eel," his second picture book, Prosek presents the life cycle of the three animals. The documentary feel is intentional as we page through what could be a naturalist's field notes. Prosek's detailed watercolor paintings bring us into the landscape. We feel the hot sun and summer breeze as Bird nests in the barn, Butterfly alights on bright orange flowers in the meadow, and Eel swims in the dark, cool waters of the pond below the lilies. Prosek provides cross-sectional views of water, meadow and sky so we can see each animal simultaneously in its habitat. In the fall, Bird's young begin to fly, the butterfly caterpillars are changing in their chrysalises and Eel makes ready for her long journey to spawn. Prosek provides a map of the East Coast from North to South America so we can see the migratory paths they take, Butterfly to Mexico, Eel to the Sargasso Sea and Bird to the southern tip of Argentina (8,000 miles!). You can tell Prosek understands that in factual books we want not only to be entertained but to build on our body of knowledge. And in his endnotes he explains how these three creatures burrowed into his heart. Lisa Von Drasek is the children's librarian of the Bank Street College of Education.