CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Joanne Oppenheim and Barbara Reid.
Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, 1986.
39pp., paperbound boards, $13.95.
ISBN 0-590-71596-8. Distributed by Scholastic-TAB. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Birds-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8

Reviewed by Fran Newman.

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

I opened the package from CM and was delighted to see this book. I already had become very enthused about it. Classes in our open area for junior levels have used it as a basis for art lessons, I have read it to classes in my library, and I have used it with a grade 2 class for oral reading. I can also see it being invaluable for environmental studies units on birds.

For that is what this is, an incredibly beautiful book about every kind of bird. Oppenheim crafts phrases to describe birds according to size, season, activity, time of day, location: town, farm, field, marsh, sea, lake, and high-flying sky. And listen to the language: "Have you seen autumn birds? Visiting-the-feeder birds, following-the-leader birds, leaving-in-a-string birds, coming-back-in-spring birds." Or: "Do you know sea birds? Twisting, drifting, swiftly shifting, searching, skimming, scooping, lifting, soaring by the shore."

But, oh, the illustrations! The children and I marvel at the intricacy of Barbara Reid's plasticene full-colour layouts. Each page is a celebration. Words cannot fully describe their magnificence. If this book does not win more than one award, then there is no justice. Well done, everyone involved.

Fran Newman, Murray Centennial P.S., Trenton, ON.
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