cover image Love Birds

Love Birds

Jane Yolen, illus. by Anna Wilson. Cameron Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-951836-40-5

A shared passion for birding leads two children to friendship—and later, to love—in Yolen and Wilson’s gentle picture book. New in town, Jon, a child portrayed with bushy red hair and light skin, has yet to connect with any kids (“You’d think he didn’t know how to talk,” criticizes his mother). But he fills his time listening to all the sounds around him, including those made by birds, and especially “autumn owls.” Hoping to call a barred owl into view one evening, Jon is thrilled to hear a response, only to discover that “it wasn’t a bird. It was a different listener, a girl about his age,” named Janet, who has a bubbly laugh and is portrayed with brown skin and loose curls. Yolen’s crisp text captures the exuberant rhythm of the duo’s instant bond: the two (one who “rarely talked” and one who “always listened”) spend hours chatting “about nights and nightjars, about nests and nestlings, about hoots and calls, about feathers and wings.” In richly hued landscapes that showcase brilliant bird plumage, moonlight and shadow, and a multitude of evergreen and birch trees, Wilson portrays two birds of a feather finding each other. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)