cover image A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins

Katie Hesterman, illus. by Sergio Ruzzier. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-54778-2

Hesterman debuts with 16 poems that lightheartedly chart the development of a family of robins: “Three is too few./ Mama adds more./ Now it’s just right:/ One clutch of four.” Baby birds often look ungainly and weird—a perfect fit for Ruzzier’s gently surreal brand of cartooning. His newborn robins have big eyes, rubbery limbs, and (eventually) a fuzzy carpet of feathers: “Changing, growing and it’s showing.../ Now they’re fluffs of plump perfection.” The action unfolds against a backdrop of vaguely alien vegetation and watery skies of pink and blue; there are some tussles among the new siblings, but Hesterman focuses more on the birds’ growth and increasing independence. It’s a charmer of an animal family story, with rhymes that are a pleasure to read aloud. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Rick Margolis, Rising Bear Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)