Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mama Built A Little Nest by Jennifer Ward

Mama Built A Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Rating: 5 stars

If you've got a nature-loving kid somewhere near you, this book needs to be in his or her hands. We were all blown away by how many facts we learned from a book that appeared to be a simple rhyme with gorgeous illustrations.

Ward gives us a gift of a book jam-packed with great information about a bunch of different birds--from the more well-known emperor penguin and falcons to more unique birds such as the weaverbird (the yellow bird pictured on the cover), falcon, grebe, and shorebird.

This is a grow-with-me book, or a book for a household like ours--with one strong, curious reader; one emerging, interested reader; and one bird-loving, letter-finder. On each two-page spread is a succinct, one-stanza rhyme about the bird illustrated on the page. There are also several sentences about the bird written in a smaller, different font for readers like Lorelei to read on her own or for me to read to Ben (he can read most of the words in the actual poem himself).

Mama built a little nest / inside a sturdy trunk.
She used her beak to tap-tap-tap / the perfect place to bunk.
Each page not only shows the reader what the bird looks like, but what the nest is like. The diversity of each bird--from what it looks like to how it makes its nest--impressed me greatly and was fun to point out to my kids. The birds and their neat nests grabbed my kids' attention and set off their imaginations.

Here are some of my favorite facts about the birds and their nests in this book:

  • A hummingbird makes the smallest cup-shaped nest out of spiderwebs so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow.
  • The male cactus wren makes many dome-shaped nests to attract a female. If impressed, the female will choose one and then continue to add to its structure.
  • Grebes create a floating nest on the water and anchor it to water plants.
  • The swiftlet makes an edible nest (!!) using tube-shaped saliva, which hardens in the air. Swiftlet nests are used in bird's nest soup, a Chinese delicacy.

My kids love this type of bird feeder!

This is a wonderful, one-of-a-kind book that pairs nicely with the kind of bird feeder we have attached to our HERE for link to purchase.

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