What It’s Like to Be a Bird (Adapted for Young Readers): From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing and Why

­Delacorte. Oct. 2023. 208p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593430187.
Gr 4-8–From well-respected birding expert Sibley comes this beautifully illustrated book for middle grade readers, delving into such questions as “Why do birds need feathers?” and “How do birds find food?” The writing is fairly detailed, yet each bird introduced is limited to a spread complete with a colored illustration, making it easier to digest the details. Sensibly organized, Sibley focuses on the essence of each bird species presented. With crows he may focus on behavior, yet with a finch he may choose to share information on feeding or nest building. For readers who may only glean tidbits, there are some mesmerizing facts. Did you know that feathers wear out, birds have no teeth, and all birds molt? In addition to excellent information about a variety of birds, there are occasional activities peppered throughout. There are bird species presented from across the entire United States. Whether readers live in an urban or rural area, we all have birds in our communities to observe and learn about. Sibley achieves this by sharing his own dedication to and fascination with our feathered friends, truly answering the titular question, “what it’s like to be a bird?”
VERDICT A superior volume of well-researched facts and figures; a must-have for young bird nerds.

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