Thursday, November 18, 2010

Books for my bird-loving babe

Writing about books yesterday reminded me that I never gave you a closer peek into my recently-found treasures, as promised. Here's a start.

I have a bird-lover in the house. Lucy and I have spent tons of time watching our chickens, the turkeys at the farm, the sparrows outside the window by her potty, the crows in the compost bin. She can identify a "dee dee" (chickadee) by its song. She nightly asks for "story: birds" as I put her to sleep. So when I spotted this book at the book sale, naturally, I snatched it right up.

It wasn't until I brought it home and took a closer look that I recognized it. A few years back, I'd had it out of the library at the school where I then taught, renewed and renewed and renewed for a group of children who were interested in learning how to paint birds. We'd used its large, simple illustrations as models for many of our own paintings.

Lucy loves them, too. Most of the birds are ones we've seen, and it's become routine for us to discuss on each page "Mama know? Me know?" (In other words, do you know that bird, mama? Do I?) At the moment, we just look at the pictures, name the birds, and talk about our personal connections to each one. Later, we'll enjoy reading the text.

And then, I spotted this one. Oh, was I excited! Pretty much, if it's by Brian Wildsmith, it's going into my bag. But this had the added bonus of being about birds...

...and fascinating vocabulary. (It gives the language for groups of various birds, as in "A wedge of swans. A sedge of herons.") We love looking at the gorgeous illustrations, and repeating the intriguing words.

Lucy particularly enjoys this illustration of turkeys, which reminds her of those at "our" farm.

One of the things I love so much about vintage books is their beautiful, artistic illustrations. So many of today's books are super-realistic (photos) or condescendingly cutesy-cartoonish. Books like these respect children's intelligence while offering up artistic inspiration. Lucy and I can't get enough!

Let me know if you enjoy these reviews. If so, I'd love to share more of my finds with you.


muffinmoon said...

Yes, I love the reviews and would love more too! We have just picked up a book about hedgehogs that we ordered from our local library. I am loving it. It has taken me a while but I am gradually culling the books I don't like from my little one's library. He's not noticing at all.

Julie said...

More "book stories", please Lise?

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

Beautiful books!
When she's a bit older she'll probably love The Burgess Bird Book for Children, a favorite for years in our house :)

happy day!

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

If you ever do get the Burgess book look for the original version..unabridged.. with all the great pictures. My copy is year 1919.
I have heard the recent years books have left alot out.

happy day!

Amanda said...

I love the reviews as well. Reading to your children is such a magical time. You get little glimpses as to how they see the world. I got Earl The Squirel on your recomendation and I love it. I especially like hoe the mom gets stern with Earl. It reminds me of a series of books that my mom read to me as a kid called Oliver the Pig. That;s a great set of books a s well. Thanks for sharing though I love your blog :)

Luisa said...

Oh yeah you never did share your treasures!
I eventually will be redoing my kids book wish list and will go back to your posts for these books.
What's with kids and birds mine also love the chicken,'s so sweet.