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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #295

Look Up!: Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate, 2013

Reviewed by: Priscilla Grundy
Review date: 2017-07-01

Look Up!: Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard cover

This looks like a comic book with bird commentary, but it packs a barrelful of information for budding bird watchers. Annette LeBlanc Cate lures young readers with wisecracking robins and sparrows (and people). In the page on A Rainbow of Color, for instance, the European starling explains, “I’m covered with colorful speckles . . . like stars. ‘Cuz I’m a STARling. Get it?” Her goal is to encourage young readers to watch carefully, to see details, and to place birds in context. She also urges sketching birds as a way to increase focus and create a personal record. Cate begins the book by saying you don’t really need equipment to begin bird watching, and if you want binoculars, they needn’t be costly. By mid-book, she suggests it’s time for a field guide, and she lists several in the bibliography. So she moves the reader from a boy saying that bird watching “Looks kinda boring” to several pages on rather scientific bird classification at the end. The reader (of any age) who follows the book all the way through will have a solid start on the enjoyment of birding. And if you never go beyond reading the book, you will still have had a good time.

Published in the July 2017 Leaflet Volume 4, Issue 7.

Keywords: Birds, Reviews, Children's literature

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