My Book of Birds

illus. by Geraldo Valério. 60p. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Groundwood. Apr. 2016. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781554988006.
K-Gr 2—The versatile artist from Brazil brings a fresh eye to North American birds with his colorful paper cutouts. Each bird is briefly described in one or two short, conversational sentences, often enlivened with observations—robins search for the "worms they find so delicious" and a black-capped chickadee is a "sweet little bird." This style helps to facilitate the inclusion of an array of factual information on habitat, nesting, mating, diet, social customs, physical traits or abilities, and identification. Using old magazine paper, art paper, and gift wrap, Valério captures the essence of each bird's color and movement. Large birds such as the American white pelican, great blue heron, and snowy owl are each given their own spread, while smaller birds or related species tend to be grouped together (e.g., tanagers, grosbeaks, and cardinals). Valério finishes up with a variety of sparkling warbler species fluttering across the pages as they return north in the spring to breed. Softly colored, labeled eggs on the front papers and bright, labeled feathers on the endpapers bracket this beautiful album.
VERDICT An artful introduction, this title is ideal for bird-watchers and animal fans.

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