Layering delicate leaves and branches in green-browns, gold-greens, and touches of scarlet, newcomer Pak gives Gray’s (One Big Rain) story about nesting robins a quiet, measured dynamism. The restraint of the artwork dovetails nicely with the story’s themes: caretaking, which is what the nesting robin is doing, and observation, which is what a human boy and girl are doing. The two talk about the birds they see, some of which are voicing their characteristic calls (“Sparrow makes a simple jingle./ chiddik, chiddik/ Swallow slides from under a shingle./ ha-ha-chit-chit-chit”). One bird, though, is mysteriously silent. “ ‘Not a single tweet or trill.’/ ‘This nesting bird is so still!’ ” The secret to the robin’s long stay on her nest is revealed as a dialogue between the sounds coming from the nest (“Tapping Cracking”) and the children’s observations (“The bird is starting to move around!”). It’s a fine first book about watching living beings in the wild, and it also serves as a beginning birders’ guide, identifying the features and cries of common backyard birds. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Mar.)■
Reviewed on: 12/16/2013 Release date: 03/18/2014 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.