Friday, December 6, 2013

Books Take Flight: Gift Ideas

Librarians are fond of saying that books help readers fly to new heights and explore new worlds. And I believe that is true. Books can help readers discover new worlds and new interests. They also make great holiday gifts. While books may not always garner the oohs and aahs of the latest Playstation, they last a lot longer. So consider some of these bird books for those on your holiday lists. Bird Brainz will love 'em!

Ok, I'll start with blatant self-promotion. Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas has sold well as a gift not only for young people but for adults who enjoy discovering the cultural background to some of the hummer information. Folktales from cultures across the Americas are retold along side facts that relate to the stories. 

Another favorite of mine is Birds of a Feather by Jane Yolen. Actually Yolen has several books about birds but this one stands out. Combined with a beautiful photograph by Yolen's son, each poem is followed by a few facts about each bird.  

Although there is little or no factual material in Mr. Popper's Penguins, I can trace my fascination with penguins back to reading this classic book. This book is a chapter book for elementary aged readers, although it is also a good family read-aloud. Pair it with One Cool Friend, a picture book by Toni Buzzeo about a child who is drawn to the Magellanic penguins he sees at the aquarium.

Budding birdwatchers will appreciate Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, which I reviewed earlier this year. Pair the book with a beginner field guide like Backyard Birds (Field Guides for Young Naturalists) and your young birder will be good to go.

And just for fun, if your young reader loves the game Angry Birds, check out National Geographic Angry Birds: 50 True Stories of the Fed Up, Feathered, and Furious. The book is a hilarious look at real birds who are annoyed, testy, outraged, or furious! Mixed in with funny comments related to the game are photos and facts about real birds and the behaviors that classify them as angry.

These are just a few of my recent favorites and I have mentioned other books in this blog. I hope you will add your favorite bird books for kids in the comments. The birds--and readers--are depending on you.

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