A young girl, Ava, joins her family on the annual Christmas Bird Count in and around her New England community. The leader of the group, Big Al, asks her to keep a record of what her team sees (and hears). It is a big honor for Ava and she takes on the role with excitement and energy. Ava knows to use her most important tools – her eyes and ears – when identifying birds. She also looks forward to the end of the day, when the teams get together to add up all their totals and to celebrate with a party.
The book nicely describes what a Christmas Bird Count is like, with the spotting and identifying, logging, and moving on to find more areas where birds might be flocking. Author Susan Edwards Richmond clearly understands the Christmas Bird Count and tries to generate some interest to the child.
As someone who has been on a Christmas Bird Count or two, I will note, however, that ‘excitement’ is not the state of the day. It’s a lot of driving, scanning for bird movement, and then trying to identify the distant bird. True birders (I know a few of them) may get excited by what they see, but even they don’t maintain that excitement the way that Ava does here.
The artwork by Stephanie Fizer Coleman is cheery and appropriate for youngsters.
I don’t know that this book will sway many children to wanting to take part in the annual bird count, but I can imagine a lot of birders buying this book for their children and grand-children.
Looking for a good book? Bird Count is a children’s picture book by Susan Edwards Richmond and Stephanie Fizer Coleman which describes the annual Christmas Bird Count and a young girl’s adventure as she joins in on the bird counting day.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Susan Edwards Richmond
artist: Stephanie Fizer Coleman
publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
hardcover, 32 pages