cover image Robins! How They Grow Up

Robins! How They Grow Up

Eileen Christelow. Clarion, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-544-44289-4

Addressing readers, two robin “teenagers” explain how they came to live in “your yard.” Making good use of sequential panels to show the changing seasons, chicks’ development, and passage of time, Christelow’s (the Five Little Monkeys series) airy, sketchlike digital illustrations portray pivotal moments in the robins’ lives, from leaving the nest to learning to fly and finding food. Cartoony versions of the robins in the margins offer quips and informative comments, but Christelow never sugarcoats the difficulties of being a small bird in a world of predators. A squirrel devours one of their siblings’ eggs before it hatches, and a brother is later swept up by a hawk: “Mom and Dad chase the hawk, scolding and screaming, but he flies away, our brother dangling from his talons.” A glossary and other details about robins conclude this insightful study of an unflashy but fascinating bird. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)