LISTEN TO THE BIRDS: A KidLit Chicken E-book Evaluate

By Susan Wroble

Susan Wroble is a Denver-based youngsters’s writer with a concentrate on science-based tales. When she is just not writing, yow will discover Susan making an attempt to rework her yard right into a native plant habitat or working at Colorado Kids’s Hospital with the household’s remedy canine. She has a lifelong love of birds, maybe instilled at start together with her center identify—Burd.

In case you are looking for a e-book to attract youngsters right into a love of birding, ornithologist Donald Kroodsma’s Hearken to the Birds could be the right match. Kroodsma, a birdsong specialist, is finest identified for his books for adults: The Singing Lifetime of Birds, Birdsong by the Seasons, and Listening to a Continent Sing.

In Hearken to the Birds, Kroodsma teamed up with illustrator and designer Léna Mazilu and interactive developer Yoann Guény to create a nonfiction youngster’s image e-book of widespread North American birds that’s accompanied by an augmented actuality “Birdie Reminiscence” app. With the app downloaded onto a cellphone and the cellphone digital camera pointed to a chicken within the e-book, the chicken appears to return alive, transfer — and sing. The impact is totally enchanting.

From the writer’s standpoint, the e-book is geared toward youngsters in grades 1-3, however readers have given it a a lot wider age vary, from 4-11 years. Be aware that this isn’t a e-book to ship off to youngsters within the youthful age of that vary for them to learn on their very own, because the studying degree (860 Lexile) is usually youngsters aged 11-14. As an alternative, it is a e-book to learn with youngsters. Mazilu’s richly patterned, brilliantly coloured illustrations invite readers right into a deeper exploration of the birds on every unfold.

Hearken to the Birds can also be an ideal e-book to pair with a morning hike with youngsters. The e-book’s construction is good—Kroodsma divides the e-book into two sections: a daybreak stroll in Jap North America, and a second stroll in Western North America. In every, he begins the imagined stroll in a park earlier than heading into edge habitat after which into forest, and alongside the way in which introduces the readers to the widespread birds in every of these habitats. Within the japanese park on the sting of city, for instance, we meet the American Robin, the Northern Cardinal, the Tufted Titmouse, and the Blue Jay. For every chicken, Kroodsma has given the widespread mnemonic of the track, a number of paragraphs with particulars in regards to the chicken, and a enjoyable reality.

This can be a e-book that may very well be learn in its entirety earlier than your hike, then once more briefly sections, specializing in the 3-4 birds in that habitat after which persevering with the hike earlier than studying the subsequent part. Utilizing the interactive Birdie Reminiscence app to pay attention to every chicken earlier than heading into the subsequent portion of your hike will help youngsters in figuring out these birds by their morning track. Together with the animation and track, the app offers a bit of data on every chicken, their scientific identify, and a hyperlink to a sonogram to replay the track.

The again matter on this e-book is particularly wealthy. Kroodsma gives extra assets, in addition to a glossary that covers in additional element things like innate track, speedy number of track, and eventual selection. The “Selection in Birdsong” part explains dialects, repertoires, patterns, and variations. In different sections, Kroodsma explains why birdsong is seasonal, and the connection between happiness and track, whereas “Listening with Your Eyes” offers an introduction to studying a spectrogram.

With its treasure trove of particulars on track, conduct, and habitats, this e-book and app mixture is so partaking that grownup readers could discover themselves new info proper alongside the children.


Hearken to the Birds by Donald Kroodsma, illustrated by Léna Mazilu, with Birdie Reminiscence app by Léna Mazilu and Yoann Guény

Norton Younger Readers, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-324-03103-1

$19.95 USA; $25.95 Canada

64 pages, Grade degree 1-3 (per writer), Lexile 860

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