The Big Book of Birds is the fourth book in Yuval Zommer’s ‘The Big Book of’ series. It follows on from the publication of The Big Book of Bugs, The Big Book of Beasts and The Big Book of the Blue, and readers are in for yet another treat. If you are not familiar with Zommer’s work and ‘The Big Book’ series you are seriously missing out. Like the previous books in the series, it is full of fascinating facts, questions and answers.
Ever wondered…How many types of bird are there? Why is a flamingo pink? Do magpies really steal shiny things? Why is a peacock such a show-off? Well, The Big Book of Birds has the answers to all of these questions and more.
The book covers many topics. Specific birds get their own double page spreads and there is information on feathers, beaks, nests, eggs, migration, bird calls and song. There is also plenty of practical advice on how to become a super bird-spotter and how to attract birds to your garden.
The Book of the Birds is produced across twenty-six double page spreads. Each double page spread focuses on a specific topic or bird and is laid out in an inviting way for the reader. The pages are colourful and are packed full of stunning illustrations that are detailed and vibrant. Each double page spread begins with a heading and is supplemented by an interesting question that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Subheadings are scattered across the page and are accompanied by facts and informative chunks of text. Zommer’s clever use of puns adds humour to the book which readers will delight in. Get ready for ‘wee-ly cool’ (a flamingos rather disgusting way of cooling down) and ‘talon-ted hunter’.
And when all the information gets too much there are fabulous ‘can you spot’ activities that occasionally feature. Readers are challenged to find specific things within individual spreads such as finding the three female kingfishers. There is also a more generic challenge in which readers are given the task of finding the special egg that has found its way into fifteen of the spreads.
This feels like a proper grown-up non-fiction book and young readers will no doubt love that there is a contents, an index and a glossary that comes in the form of ‘Bird Words’ so young bird-watchers can speak like an expert.
The book is a fabulous way for children to learn about the amazing birds of this world. It is a brilliant book for any budding ornithologist or the casual bird-watcher who enjoys a bit of bird spotting from home and will be devoured by children who want to find out about our feathered friends. The book is published as a large format coffee-table sized book with thick pages that will hold up to endless hours of exploration.
Recommended for 6+.