FICTION
Feathers: Not Just for Flying
illus. by Sarah S. Brannen. 32p. Charlesbridge. Feb. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781580894302; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580894319; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346272. LC 2012038694.
COPY ISBN
Gr 1–4—Depicting birds from around the United States as well as South America, India, Africa, and Antarctica, Stewart illuminates the various functions of feathers. Presented in a scrapbook format with images and text that appear to be taped, stapled, or pinned to the pages, the book explains that feathers can provide sun protection, assist in carrying nest materials, or attract a mate with sound or color. All of these functions are subtly compared to everyday objects with which young readers will be familiar, such as backhoes and forklifts or umbrellas and sleds. Brannen's captivating, lifelike illustrations bring each bird's feathers to life. An author's note explains Stewart's main sources. With its simple text and captivating art, this title could be featured in a group storytime or in a unit on birds.—Meaghan Darling, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
The remarkable variety of birds' feathers is the focus of this beautifully illustrated volume. Feathers provide birds with warmth and cooling, protection from the sun, and the ability to fly, dig, swim, or glide. On each double-page spread, designed to evoke a bulletin board, a simple main text points out the primary functions of the featured feathers, while text boxes present specific facts.
Birds and the remarkable variety of their feathers are the focus of this beautifully illustrated volume. In addition to their use for flight, feathers of all shapes and sizes provide birds with warmth and cooling, protection from the sun, and the ability to dig, swim, or glide. On each double-page spread, designed to evoke a bulletin board, the simple main text (in larger font) points out the primary functions of the featured feathers, while text boxes present facts specific to the representative species featured, along with small images of objects used by humans that are analogous to each feather's purpose (e.g., sun block, life jacket, umbrella). Brannen's delicate watercolors include pictures of birds in action using their feathers for various purposes as well as wonderfully detailed close-ups of the feathers themselves. Some of the ideas can be conveyed with a picture of a single feather; others are illustrated by several feathers from a single bird, as in a striking image of the five different feather structures found on the familiar blue jay. danielle j. ford

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