To celebrate this weekend’s Great Backyard Bird Count, I’m showcasing a book that will inspire young and old to discover birds all around them.
Title: Finding a Dove for Gramps
Author: Lisa J. Amstutz
Illustrator: Maria Luisa DiGravio
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Audience: Ages 4-8
Themes: Nature, Family, Citizen Science
Opening lines: Mom and I slip silently out the door. Today we’re going to count birds. It’s just the two of us this year, since Gramps flew south for the winter. ”Just like the swallows!” he says.
Synopsis: (from the jacket flap) Jay looks forward to participating in the bird count each winter with his mom and Gramps. It’s fun to spot different birds like a nuthatch, a black-capped chickadee, and even a golden-crowned kinglet! This year Jay wants to spot his Gramps’s favorite bird – a dove. But with so many different birds in the nature preserve, will Jay have a chance to locate one before the count is over?
Why I Like This Book: This book is perfect for beginning birders, young or old. The text is simple, yet encouraging. Through the use of sensory details and onomatopoeia, Lisa introduces the reader to several common birds, and conveys the joy of locating these feathered friends. The colorful illustrations enhance the text and add to the engagement.
Resources: There is information on bird counts in the back matter of this book, as well as a bird count checklist. In addition, The Audubon Society has lots of great resources for kids as well as general information on birds and bird counting activities.
For a list of wonderful picture books, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.