cover image ROBIN'S HOME


Jeannine Atkins, ROBIN'S HOME Jeannine Atk. , $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-36337-6

Part story, part informational text, this amiable picture book details a day in the life of a robin family. Baby Robin is perfectly content in his "nest that fit as perfectly as a hug." As he snuggles in the nest, he asks his parents to tell him about how they built it, allowing the author to introduce information about robin behavior as part of the narrative. When Robin finally gathers his courage and takes his first leap into the wide world, he discovers that "the whole sky [is his] home." An appendix adds information useful for parents or teachers in explaining robin behavior to children. Whitman's torn-paper and watercolor collages, though not as dramatic or subtly colored here as in her deft illustrations for The Night Is Like an Animal, provide a low-key match for Atkins's (Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon) uncomplicated text. Although the uniformity of the illustrations allows little individuality or expression among the characters, their simplicity resembles the kind of carefully rendered crayon drawings found on a kindergarten bulletin board. The pacing of text with artwork is uneven, leaving some pages with one sentence and others with paragraphs, but Atkins's story may well reassure youngsters that they, too, will be able to strike out on their own one day. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)