Common Backyard Birds (Doris Dumrauf)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Common Backyard Birds by Doris Dumrauf, a kid-friendly guidebook to some of the most common North American birds.

Everyone loves looking at the birds in their neighborhood, but not everyone knows how to identify our little feathered friends. Featuring original nature photography the the author and first-person introductions from the birds themselves, Dumrauf introduces little bookworms to twenty of the most-spotted North American species, from the American Robin to the Carolina Chickadee to the Red-bellied Woodpecker. Young birdwatchers can learn about what each species eats, see their specialized features, and get an idea of their personalities and preferences.

Very cool! This indie title is a surprisingly robust look at common “backyard” birds, as well as tips for attracting those species to one’s own yard. The book is not particularly eye-catching design-wise; while Dumrauf is a skilled nature photographer, young readers will likely not be engaged by the bland monochrome backgrounds and large blocks of text. The text itself, however, is very entertaining, as Dumrauf manages to imbue personality into each species of bird while imparting interesting factoids in an entertaining and approachable way. I do wish that more urban species had been featured – such as house sparrows or rock pigeons – which might draw in kiddos who live outside of suburban and rural areas with more immediately recognizable species. Otherwise, the length was best for older elementary students, and JJ really enjoyed looking at the pictures and learning about the birds (perfect timing for us – she just got her own bird-feeder). Overall, this one is a fantastic way to introduce the world of aves to burgeoning birdwatchers, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Every Day Birds (Amy Ludwig VanDerwater)

Hello, everybody! Today, we read Every Day Birds, written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Dylan Metrano, a beginners guide to common birds for young children. The book, told in rhyme, features cut paper illustrations of many species of common birds (such as robins, cardinals. woodpeckers, etc) on each page, with short, one-sentence descriptions to help identify them. Also included are more detailed descriptions of each bird in the back of the book for young readers to peruse as they grow.

This was a really cool concept for a book, and it was executed well. The cut paper illustrations are colorful and simple, so children can get used to the basic look of each species, yet still bring the birds to life, and writing the book in rhyme makes it fun and easy to read aloud to the younger readers. The length is fine, too, and this would be a great book for little nature lovers or beginners at birding. We liked it! Baby Bookworm approved!