cover image Mama Built a Little Nest

Mama Built a Little Nest

Jennifer Ward, illus. by Steve Jenkins. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2116-5

Jenkins's (Animals Upside Down) signature paper collages handsomely illustrate this inviting read about bird nest variety. Ward (What Will Hatch?) showcases 14 nest types, from simple scrape nests to intricately woven ones, with rhythmic verses that begin the same way: "Mama built a little nest," although there's some variation on that theme ("Daddy built a little nest"). Realistic vignettes of birds and their nests are set against a white backdrop; spots of vibrant color accent the muted hues of the mostly female nest builders. In one scene, deep ruddy shades adorn a female grebe's majestic profile as she swims near her nest: "Mama built a little nest./ She gathered twigs that float/ and placed them on the water/ to create a cozy boat." Captions alongside the illustrations offer additional information about nesting materials and habits. Families using this as a bedtime book will appreciate the snug ending: "You have a nest%E2%80%94your very own!/ A place to rest your head/ with pillows soft and cozy thoughts%E2%80%94/ your nest is called a bed!" Ages 4%E2%80%938. Author's agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Mar.)