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.
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, NYCopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.