cover image Hooray for Birds!

Hooray for Birds!

Lucy Cousins. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9265-0

Maisy creator Cousins uses her signature brand of punchy, thickly outlined gouache paintings to introduce an active menagerie of birds. “Can you imagine.../ just for one day.../ you’re a busy bird?/ Yes, a bird! Hooray!” Cousins begins, deploying vivid portraits of roosters, starlings, woodpeckers, and other birds, set against bold backgrounds of orange, green, magenta, and other saturated colors. A vibrant palette and upbeat rhymes keep the energy level high from start to finish, and the action-oriented statements offer clear encouragement for readers to mimic the birds’ sounds and movements (as best they can, anyway). “Stand very tall on just one leg,” writes Cousins as flamingo stands smiling. “Say ‘Cluck cluck!’ and lay an egg.” The energetic mood softens slightly as Cousins makes her way from a rooster’s morning crowing to an owl’s nocturnal hoots, but all in all it’s a rousing pick for reading (and chirping) aloud. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)