It says right up there on my header that I review science fiction and fantasy for kids, and I mostly do. But I also enjoy taking part in the Kidlitosphere's Non-Fiction Monday round-ups (in part because I regret having utterly ignored the non-fiction sections of all my childhood libraries, and in part because my own kids, happily, do not suffer from the same myopia). Today's round-up is at Playing By the Book.
This morning I offer Hatch! written and illustrated by Roxie Munro (Marshall Cavendish, 2011, 40 pages).
Before you have a bird, you have to have an egg. Hatch! introduces young readers to a multitude of bird species from around the world by first showing full page picture of their eggs--"Can you guess whose eggs these are?" A paragraph of clues follows...and then a double page spread showing the bird in its habitat. It's a very friendly, inviting design--the curiosity of the reader is piqued, and then clearly written, simple yet detailed, information is provided by words and pictures.
As well as introducing the birds qua birds, Munro also sets each one neatly into its habitat, explaining in words and pictures where they live, and the other creatures that share their world. And the very last page offers places where one can find out more about birds, and a list of fun bird words to learn.
Fascinating things I learned: when Baltimore orioles migrate, they fly mainly at night (possibly to beat the traffic???)
The eggs of the black-legged kittiwake come in all sorts of distinctive splotch patterns--so the the parents can tell their own nests from the hundreds and even thousands of other eggs in the same colony. (If I was a kittiwake, I would still feel nervous--I don't trust my splotch recognition skills). Owl eggs are white so their parents can find them in the dark (this I could cope with).
A cactus wren has two or three clutches a season, and sometimes an older sibling from the first brood will babysit (only one more year until the my own first brood, as it were, will be old enough to do the same for my second).
We enjoyed this one!
(review copy received from the publisher)