As my young toddler has become a bit more picky in his eating habits, I have found that a bird feeder located right outside the dining room window has helped things immensely. While he is distracted by the frenetic comings and goings of the chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers, I can sneak in spoonfuls of porridge with no resistance. So I found it serendipitous when Nest arrived at my doorstep, because tracking the daily activities of the birds is right up my family's alley.
Nest follows the life cycle of a family of American Robins, from nest building to fledgling and back around to nesting again. Each page has a one-word description which manages to capture all of the action in the accompanying illustration. This single word approach is effective for a number of reasons. It allows young readers to focus on mastering one word at a time, and it encourages parents to fill in the rest of the story however they choose. Also, the lack of text gives the illustrations plenty of room to shine.
The robin has always been considered a cheerful bird and Hurley's depiction captures that sentiment perfectly. I am not sure how she manages to make a beak smile, but she does. The words Hurley chooses to move the story forward are delightful. Some are obvious, such as hatch, fly and nest. Others are unexpected, like feast, jump and surprise. All of them are supported by beautiful artwork, depicting a happy robin family living through the changes of the seasons. Nest is a cozy little book that I look forward to sharing with my little fledglings.
Author: Jorey Hurley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (2014)
Age group: Three to seven
Best for kids who: love birds, the seasons, and nature
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon:
Nest, by Jorey Hurley
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(Image credits: Amazon)