A useful addition to the nature shelf. (further reading) (Informational picture book. 5-9)
Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with Permission
K-Gr 3--How are birds' beaks like common tools? This question/answer picture book features a whimsical silhouette of a generic bird with a tool in place of its beak and asks what bird could this be with a jackhammer, tweezers, or a nutcracker for a beak? Readers then turn the page to discover that the bird with the nutcrackerlike beak is a beautiful red backyard bird, the cardinal; the wren uses its beaklike tweezers to pick up tiny insects; and woodpeckers hammer through tree bark to get at the grubs underneath. One bird may be featured for each tool, but similar birds are grouped together in the vibrant, full-color illustration of its use, e.g., sparrows and juncos with the cardinal. This creative way to look at birds and how they differ in order to thrive in their habitat may very well awaken rural and urban young readers alike to the avian world. The Q&A format is fun to read aloud or for a participatory story time. Information on the evolution of these specialized beaks and suggestions for further reading are included. VERDICT Recommend for every collection as an entertaining and informative introduction to the world of birds and how they survive and thrive.--Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County P.L., VACopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Bird beaks work like human tools.
With a guessing game that will engage young readers, this simple but effective title demonstrates how the distinctive beaks of different bird species reflect the ways they use them. Each right-hand page asks readers to guess the kind of bird whose bill is shaped like a particular tool: a straw, a strainer, needlenose pliers, and so forth. The bird is shown in silhouette with the tool where its beak would be. A page turn reveals the answer. Hummingbirds have beaks that are long and hollow like straws, allowing them to poke deep into narrow blossoms for nectar. Slater's collage illustrations show recognizable examples, along with other birds with similar beaks, both labeled and named in an added, asterisked note. The circles of light surrounding the silhouettes are repeated in the circles around the notes, a pleasing bit of design. Finally, the author suggests some other uses for beaks besides eating, concluding with gannets, who show affection by clapping their beaks together. She suggests that readers do the same with their hands to show their affection for birds. The illustrator thoughtfully depicts a Black girl bird-watcher and younger White boy doing just that, by the light of a circular moon. The backmatter extends the exploration of beak differences to introduce the idea of evolutionary change over time.
A useful addition to the nature shelf.—Kirkus Reviews