Kirby, Pamela. 2009. WHAT BLUEBIRDS DO. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press. ISBN 9781590786147 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK - 4]
Kirby has given readers a front row seat in one season in the life of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds who reside in her own backyard. The keen photography zooms in on courting, nesting, feeding and teaching. With simple language and great close ups, she presents the reader with a wealth of information about this breed of bird, such as how the male demonstrates the feeding of chicks to the female. Her simplicity in language is connected to the pictures in a way that brings a depth of understanding to the birds’ behaviors. “The fledglings called to their parents. The parents called back. They were trying to get all the young ones into the same tree. The fledglings flew in different directions at first.”
This is an engaging read-aloud that conveys information about a specific creature’s habits, needs and challenges, modeling for the youngest of readers and listeners the importance of our role in taking care of the world around us. Kirby also briefly describes three other types of bluebirds as well as blue jays, and provides information on bringing bluebirds to your yard as well as a glossary and list of resources.
Select a bird and look into the characteristics of that specific bird’s habitat. Create a model. Track the similarities and differences of each.
Select one thing in nature that can be observed over time and journal periodically about what changes occur. Easy access to video makes this a potentially powerful demonstration.
Other nature/photography picture books:
Bishop, Nic. SPIDERS. ISBN 978-0439877565
Cowley, Joy. Red-Eyed Tree Frog. ISBN 9780439782210
Dingerson, Karen. Mergus the Merganser Duckling. ISBN 9781419668265
By Susie Demarest