cover image Feathers: Not Just for Flying

Feathers: Not Just for Flying

Melissa Stewart, illlus. by Sarah S. Brannen. Charlesbridge, $17.95 (32p) ISBN

Feathers are not only a means of avian locomotion—they also have many secondary purposes for birds. “Feathers can warm like a blanket... or cushion like a pillow,” writes Stewart. “Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella... or protect skin like sunscreen.” Making skillful use of trompe l’oiel, Brannen’s delicate, refined watercolors give the project the feel of a birders’ scrapbook, as though the feathers, “photographs,” informational notes, and other ephemera that appear have been taped, stapled, and clipped to the pages (one note even has a telling coffee cup stain). A focused and thorough examination that highlights the striking beauty of these often-unnoticed natural objects. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)