by Henry Cole (Author) Henry Cole (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole soars to new heights in this stunning picture book about robins: their homes, their lives, and their families.In this black-and-white picture book highlighted with robin's egg blue, the reader will follow two robins as they build a nest with twigs and grass. Then mother robin lays four beautiful blue eggs and will keep the eggs warm in the nest until they hatch into four baby robins.The father robin protects the babies until they can fly on their own. The perils the babies encounter are many, including snakes and storms. The nest is always their safe place. Nesting provides introductory biology and animal science concepts for very young children, and also makes a spectacular springtime gift.Award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole has re-created the life story of the robin with simple text and stunning artwork. Nesting is the perfect primer for young bird-watchers and nature lovers. The beautiful, intricate black-and-white illustrations are illuminated with lovely washes of blue that breathe life into the artwork.
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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Robin's-egg blue highlights this account of an American robin family's year . . . [the] bright color contrast[s] arrestingly with [the] black-and-white surroundings. Cole varies the design from vignettes and panels to full- and double-page spreads. The relatively simple text, expressed in short sentences, is very accessible, and the natural history . . . is accurate. Aimed at a younger audience . . . this conveys essential information. Beautiful, informative, and appropriate to the audience.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Like proverbial spring, this story begins with a song: "From the branch of an apple tree, a robin starts to sing." Two robins meet and begin to build a nest. Eliding reproductive mechanics, Cole's detailed story follows the birds as eggs are laid and hatch, and as the parents work to feed the chicks and keep them safe in a world of dangers, including dramatic scenes of a thunderstorm and a hungry snake ("The robins fight back! They dive and swoop!"). The chicks grow: they fill the nest, then drop, "one by one," to the ground below. The book closes with the poignant image of the abandoned nest, filled with snow. Cole's fine-line drawings--black-and-white, with occasional washes of robin's-egg blue--use short, agitated lines and layered hatching to richly render the birds' world. A brief author's note offers additional information about robin nesting habits. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 3--A robin heralds the arrival of spring with a mating song from an apple tree. A female hears him and together they gather twigs and leaves for a nest. Soon there is a lovely blue egg, then three more. She keeps them warm, sitting and waiting, and in about two weeks there are four blind, featherless hungry babies. Now the parents are busy feeding and protecting them. They each make many trips bringing juicy worms and caterpillars to the nest. One day, a snake slithers up the tree, threatening the little family. Mother and Father do what they can to drive the predator away. Relentlessly, they dive and swoop, dive and swoop until the snake falls to the ground. In a few weeks, the babies fill the nest, feathered and grown. Now they can look for their own food. Cole's nature sketches reveal a keen eye and hand; the birds are shown from different angles up close and from afar. The artwork is done with a black micron pen with an occasional blue acrylic wash for sky or eggs. VERDICT A stellar offering. Nature lovers of all ages will enjoy this beautiful, informative book.--Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date
March 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV002040 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Birds
JUV009100 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Seasons
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Nature stories

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