Wings: Birds, Bees, Biplanes, and Other Things with Wings

Kingfisher. May. 2021. 48p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780753475539.
Gr 2-4–This fun, informative survey of animals and machines with wings delivers. Insects and reptiles; birds and mammals; magical and legendary; man-made—all are here. The accessible table of contents guides readers to any of the two-page chapters; each chapter uses a different color background. Every page is jam-packed with illustrations, text boxes, and speech bubbles. Illustrations of little birds throughout the book offer comical asides, e.g., “These [helicopter] wings are weird.” The bats provide facts about their species. A time line snaking across two pages highlights many “firsts,” from the first flying insects hundreds of millions of years ago to the first solar-powered flight in 2016. A glossary is lacking, but the index steers readers to topics such as how wings work, unicorns, kakapos (flightless parrots threatened with extinction after cats were introduced into New Zealand), and more. Approachable and engaging language personalizes many of the animals (sugar gliders are referred to as “adorable”).
VERDICT A delightful overview of flight that can be opened to any page to enjoy and learn.

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