Hooray for Birds!

by Lucy Cousins (Author) Lucy Cousins (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In an exuberant display of color, Lucy Cousins invites little ones to imagine themselves as brilliant birds.

Birds of all feathers flock together in a fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy. From the rooster's "cock-a-doodle-doo" at dawn to the owl's nighttime "tuwit, tuwoo," the cheeps and tweets of many bright and beautiful avian friends will have children eager to join in as honorary fledglings.

This day in the life of birds will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at storytime or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--Bold electric colors flutter on each spread of this high-flying adventure that's perfect for young fans of Hooray for Fish! The art is rendered in gouache, and the text is hand-lettered in ink. Readers are invited to pretend they are various birds as pages provide playful rhyme and expressive action verbs. "Swoop up and down, /Swoop round and round./Scratch the ground with your feet./Catch a fly with your beak." Jovial illustrations surrounded in bright colors and enhanced with thick black outlines encourage audience participation. "The sun is up, /the sky is blue./Wake up and shout 'Cock-a-doodle-doo!' " Charming endpapers show various birds wide awake in the beginning of the book and fast asleep at the end, except for one bright-eyed owl that is fast asleep in the opening endpapers and wide awake as readers turn the final page. This is a great opening for extension activities with older readers on nocturnal birds. VERDICT Rhyming text and bright illustrations make this a superb choice for storytime groups. Pair it with Kevin Henkes's Birds, Jennifer Ward's Mama Built a Little Nest, and Jeremy Tankard's Grumpy Bird for a feathered friend storytime. Recommended for all picture book collections.--Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Maisy creator Cousins uses her signature brand of punchy, thickly outlined gouache paintings to introduce an active menagerie of birds. "Can you imagine.../ just for one day.../ you're a busy bird?/ Yes, a bird! Hooray!" Cousins begins, deploying vivid portraits of roosters, starlings, woodpeckers, and other birds, set against bold backgrounds of orange, green, magenta, and other saturated colors. A vibrant palette and upbeat rhymes keep the energy level high from start to finish, and the action-oriented statements offer clear encouragement for readers to mimic the birds' sounds and movements (as best they can, anyway). "Stand very tall on just one leg," writes Cousins as flamingo stands smiling. "Say 'Cluck cluck!' and lay an egg." The energetic mood softens slightly as Cousins makes her way from a rooster's morning crowing to an owl's nocturnal hoots, but all in all it's a rousing pick for reading (and chirping) aloud. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

[T]he creatures in "Hooray for Birds!" (Candlewick, 40 pages, $15.99) all but vibrate with brilliant colors. In gouache paintings on bright backgrounds, Lucy Cousins, the creator of the popular "Maisy" books, depicts swans and starlings, guinea fowl and cardinals, and a resplendent peacock. With each picture comes an exhortation for 2- to 5-year-olds to throw themselves into avian imitations: "Waddle like a penguin in the snow / Run like an ostrich, go, go, go!"
—The Wall Street Journal

An exuberant celebration of birds of all kinds...The cozy ending showing a baby parrot cuddling up close with Mama in his nest and the rear endpapers of sleeping birds are perfect for naptime. All in all, it's a great way to introduce bird behavior without lecturing—young children will feel like hopping, pecking, and soaring with these exuberant feathered friends.
—Kirkus Reviews 

Twelve years after Hooray for Fish!, Cousins invites listeners to join in as part of the boisterous flock...The book's large size and format, along with the second-person narration and bold illustrations, create a natural opportunity for children to become a physical part of the story.
—The Horn Book

Cousins' exquisite portrayals of our feathered friends will delight fledgling readers and listeners and have them flapping their wings for more.
—Booklist Online

This sprightly picture book provides him and his cohorts with delightful introduction to the diversity and activity of these feathered friends.
—San Francisco Chronicle

This book will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at story time or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep.
—Washington Parent
Lucy Cousins
Lucy Cousins is the creator of the beloved Maisy series. She is also the author-illustrator of the wildly acclaimed Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year, as well as Peck, Peck, Peck; Jazzy in the Jungle; I'm the Best; and Hooray for Fish! Lucy Cousins lives in Hampshire, England.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 20, 2017

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