A Bird Is a Bird

illus. by Lizzy Rockwell. 32p. ebook available. Holiday House. May 2015. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430420; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823433322. LC 2013018289.
PreS-Gr 1—Rockwell answers a common question: What characteristics set birds apart from other animals? It's not just having a beak or wings or laying eggs that makes an animal a bird, she explains. Rather, it's feathers—whether colorful or dull, outstanding or camouflaged—that are the key trait. The book includes both common and lesser-known types of birds from around the world as examples, such as the Andean condor, the rock pigeon, and the toucan. Each illustration is labeled and, where pertinent, identified as male or female. Lively but minimal text with short sentences and a rhythmic pattern make this valuable both as a read-aloud and as an option for budding readers. Rockwell's bright, eye-catching images, rendered in gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil, add to the appeal.
VERDICT This attractive and informative title is a great addition to school and public libraries and a strong option for curriculum-related studies of nature for the very young.

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