A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use

­Millbrook. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781541587342.
K-Gr 3–How are birds’ beaks like common tools? This question/answer picture book features a whimsical silhouette of a generic bird with a tool in place of its beak and asks what bird could this be with a jackhammer, tweezers, or a nutcracker for a beak? Readers then turn the page to discover that the bird with the nutcrackerlike beak is a beautiful red backyard bird, the cardinal; the wren uses its beaklike tweezers to pick up tiny insects; and woodpeckers hammer through tree bark to get at the grubs underneath. One bird may be featured for each tool, but similar birds are grouped together in the vibrant, full-color illustration of its use, e.g., sparrows and juncos with the cardinal. This creative way to look at birds and how they differ in order to thrive in their habitat may very well awaken rural and urban young readers alike to the avian world. The Q&A format is fun to read aloud or for a participatory story time. Information on the evolution of these specialized beaks and suggestions for further reading are included.
VERDICT Recommend for every collection as an entertaining and informative introduction to the world of birds and how they survive and thrive.

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