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The Big Book of Birds

The Big Book of Birds

Yuval Zommer
Thames & Hudson Ltd
ISBN: 9780500651513

The Big Book of Birds is a beautiful book, something that will appeal to all, young and old, and certainly not just for the keen ornithologists among us.

As its name suggests, this larger than A4 book opens to reveal a selection of colourful, double page spreads, each dedicated to a different species of bird or bird related fact. From Parrots and Puffins to the more common garden varieties of bird such as the Sparrow and Blackbird. Everything a budding young bird watcher might want to know, each fact written in a good clear, comic sans style font, using concise, child friendly language.

The multi-talented author and illustrator, Yuval Zommer, has ensured that every page will hook its reader, either with the fantastic illustrations of each bird and their habitat or with the plethora of 'I never knew that' facts. For example, I never knew that a Puffin is pretty awful at landing and often bumps into its friends, or that when a Flamingo gets too hot it wees on its own legs to cool itself down! And if that's not enough, there are also 15 eggs hidden throughout the book for the reader to find.

This is one of those picture books that a young reader will return to time and time again; pouring over each page, inspired by the information it holds, without being intimidated by large blocks of text. I really like the presentation of this book, it's the kind of book that you can easily imagine children laying on the floor together reading, pointing out things to each other. There is no start to a page, you just jump right in at the part that takes your fancy most. Silent but deadly, Cracking gadget, Toothy texture, are just some of the headings that will no doubt catch the eye.

The Big Book of Birds is far from a bird watchers' guide, nor is it a typical reference book on birds, it's a treasure trove of information, meant to inspire and motivate its reader to want to know more. I am sure that both at home and in school, this book would be a well thumbed favourite of any child from the age of 7 upwards.

The addition of a contents page, an index and a page of bird words (Glossary) will no doubt make it a favourite with many Key Stage 1 teachers looking for an appealing example of a non-fiction text, too.

64 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher


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