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National Geographic Kids – Fly With Me
Wednesday December 5, 2018   |

Young birders – or children who might become birders – will be dazzled by the amazing photographs, artwork and bird lore in Fly With Me - A Celebration of Birds through Pictures, Poems and Stories. Written for kids aged 4 to 8 years old, this nearly 200-page hardcover book is a celebration of all things birds.

Youngsters will learn what makes birds unique in the animal kingdom, the connection between dinosaurs and birds, how to sharpen bird song listening skills, and the role that citizen scientists can play in bird conservation, among many other topics. There is a delightful tour of all the state birds and a dozen pages devoted to bird records. Test: What bird has the longest beak?

I particularly enjoyed the sections on “Birds in Story,” which highlights birds in literature from around the world, and “Birds in the Arts.” In addition to being entertaining, these features will encourage kids to look for birds in our everyday culture, a pursuit that I still enjoy as an adult.

There is a good dose of science throughout the book, which may inspire kids to learn more about different subjects. The section about “Listening to Birds” includes a short story about Dr. Donald Kroodsma, a scientist who has helped unravel many of the mysteries of bird song. If I had read this as an eight year old, I think I may well have gone on to study bird songs!

Fly With Me is a great gift for kids already intrigued by birds and for those for whom you’d like to stimulate a new interest in birds and birding. Caution, adults: When you get a look at this celebration of birds, you will want to read through this book as well!

Back to my earlier “test” question. What bird has the longest beak in the world? The answer is Australian Pelicans, with a beak up to 18 inches in length. The bird with the longest bird beak in relation to body size is the Sword-billed Hummingbird of South America. Its four-inch beak is longer than the bird’s body, excluding the tail.

Read more about this book at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/566595/fly-with-me-by-jane-yolen-and-heidi-stemple/9781426331817/

Book Review by Peter Stangel

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