Ever since the bibliophile learned the sign language for "bird," or his variation at least, he's always very excited to see birds anywhere. He recently learned how to hold a chunky crayon and scribble on a piece of paper. We try a little drawing every day, and his routine is to grab a crayon (often orange first, but any color), rub it randomly on the page, sit back and sign "bird." Some of the pictures he creates do look remarkably like birds, I must admit. Like this one.
So, in honor of his recent fascination, here are a few reviews of books we've read recently that star birds.
Gossie and Gertie (Board book), by Olivier Dunrea. A sturdy little board book starring Gertie and Gossie - best friend ducks. It kept his attention the first time through even in a crowded room full of running, shouting older kids.
"This is Gossie./This is Gertie./Gossie wears bright red boots./Gertie wears bright blue boots./They are friends. Best friends."
Infant's Interest: Signing for birds for the ducks and a quasi frog sign for a hopping frog on one of the pages.
Make Way for Ducklings (Viking Kestrel Picture Books) (Hardcover), by Robert McCloskey. A Caldecott Award winner, this book follows Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as they set up home on the Charles River in Boston and attempt to navigate the city's intersections with a row of ducklings in tow. The entire tale is illustrated with brown sketches. The pages had been too delicate for him to handle until recently (14 months). I think the lack of color in the illustrations makes it hard to engage him at this point, but this would make a beautiful gift for an older child or one that a younger child can grow into.
"One day the ducklings hatched out. First came Jack, then Kack, and then Lack, then Mack and Nack and Ouack and Pack and Quack. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were bursting with pride. It was a great responsibility taking care of so many ducklings, and it kept them very busy."
There Is a Bird On Your Head! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (Hardcover), by Mo Willems. What a gem this book is. The "Elephant & Piggie" series follows two friends, Gerald and Piggie; in this one, as the title suggests, a bird lands on Gerald's head and a comedic series of events (and accompanying dialogue) follows. Gerald and Piggie are simply drawn, but their expressions and dialogue convey a range of emotions that left this reader laughing aloud. I knew the bookworm was too young for it when we tried it at 14 months, but I gave it a try anyway, because he thinks it's funny when we put things on our head. He did fairly well with it for a 57 page book (only a line per page), and I loved it. I'm tempted to buy a copy now, because I can't imagine he won't love this in a year or two. I'll have to check out Willems' other books soon, including "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus," because the bibliophile loves buses and birds.
"Is there a bird on my head?"/"No."/"There are two birds on your head."
Infant's Interest: Signing for the birds.