Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review - Bird Count

Bird Count
by Susan Edwards Richmond
illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Date: 2019
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A young girl eagerly identifies and counts the birds she observes around her town during the New England Christmas Bird Count. Young Ava and her mother prepare to participate as "citizen scientists" in the Christmas Bird Count. She is excited when Big Al, the leader of their team, asks her to record the tally this year. Using her most important tools--her eyes and ears--and the birding ID techniques she's learned, Ava eagerly identifies and counts the birds they observe on their assigned route around the town. At the end of the day, they meet up with the other teams in the area for a Christmas Bird Count party, where they combine their totals and share stories about their observations.

This informative story by author Susan Edwards Richmond, coupled with Stephanie Fizer Coleman's charming depictions of birds in their winter habitats, is the perfect book to introduce young readers to birdwatching. The text offers simple explanations of the identification methods used by birdwatchers and clear descriptions of bird habitats, and a section in the back provides more information about the birds featured in the book and the Christmas Bird Count.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is an interesting picture book about a subject I've never seen covered in a children's book before: bird counts. In Bird Count, the young protagonist, Ava, participates in the Christmas Bird Count with her mother and their friend, Big Al. Proper procedure is followed (which is interesting) and there's a growing tally that runs along the right-hand side of the pages as the trio sees or hears various birds in the world around them.

I can't really find much to complain about here. The birds are easy to pick out and match the running tally. At the end of the book, there are descriptions of each of the birds mentioned, and though I do wish there had been pictures to go with each description, I guess that's something readers could look up later. (Speaking of looking up, though, I noticed a typo in the URL for The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Hopefully that will be fixed before the final version comes out.)

This would be a great book for kids who like birds, or for readers who like books where they have to pick stuff out in the illustrations. There's lots of information here about birds, and the story might even inspire some readers to join a bird count themselves.

Thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishing Company for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.17 out of 5

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