Bird Talk

Ann Jonas, Author, Ann Jonas, Illustrator Greenwillow Books $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-14174-5
Jonas (Aardvarks Disembark!) records here, alongside accomplished artwork, the sounds of various birds as memory phrases coined by ornithologists to help us hear and remember bird songs. Every spread presents a roundup of species, each issuing his characteristic call. For example, a sunrise scene shows birds in a natural setting greeting one another with cartoon bubbles such as Wide-a-wake! (Sooty Tern), Hey Al! (Razorbill) and Hiyah Hiyah Hiyah Hiyah (Herring Gull). But at other times, the birds ostensibly react to contrived situations, as when the birds appear to be talking to a classroom filled with children (Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher, says the Ovenbird, while the Magnolia Warbler cries, To Really Read It, To Really, Really Read It); yet the children seem deaf to the commotion outside their open window. With no story line or supporting text, other than the birds sounds, readers without prior knowledge of the feathered creatures may have difficulty discerning whats real from what is artificial here. Jonass finely detailed illustrations of the bird species, however, will please both novices and seasoned birdwatchers. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-688-14173-8
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