cover image Bird Count

Bird Count

Susan Edwards Richmond, illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. Peachtree, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-954-4

This picture book, informed by the author’s own decades of experience as a birder, follows Ava, her mother, and Big Al, the leader of their Christmas Bird Count team, as they travel around town recording the birds they see and hear for the annual winter census. A notebook sidebar itemizing Ava’s tallies is a welcome design element, allowing curious readers to keep track of the birds alongside the trio of citizen scientists. Back matter provides further details on the species featured, the importance of the Christmas Bird Count, and information on how to join one of the National Audubon Society’s count circles. While a bit hefty as a readaloud (“I saw one two years ago, but not last year”), younger readers may enjoy counting the birds in Coleman’s textured digital illustrations, which portray humans and birds in a friendly style. An instructive and attractive picture book for aspiring ornithologists and young nature aficionados. Ages 4–8. [em](Oct.) [/em]