Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

line Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard
by Annette LeBlanc Cate (Author, Illustrator)

This year I had the AWESOME privilege to be on the panel of judges for the Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Boggers’ Literary Awards (www.cybils.com). The Cybils panelist’s intention is to reward children’s and YA authors and illustrators “whose books combine the highest literary merit and kid appeal”. Besides this, it allows us, seriously addictive bloggers, to hang out together for a little while. The awards are announced (appropriately) on Valentine’s Day every year!

Cybils Logo Large 2013

This year I volunteered and judged on the Non Fiction genre, my favorite of all! We had some terrific books to read through and the competition for the top spot was tough. “Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard” took the top spot! Here’s why:

Review

“You don’t have to go anywhere fancy to watch birds!” And it seems you don’t need to know their fancy Latin names either! What about binoculars? Do you really need one?

Annette LeBlanc Cate’s “Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard” invites you into your own backyard to look up and around and spot some birds. But before you begin, she gives us a useful list of Bird Watching Do’s and Don’ts, what Not to bring with you and what you need to make this activity useful and fun.

Look Up Bird Watching Dos and Donts

Look up! is not a run-of-the-mill guide for bird watching. With its tongue-in-cheek cartoon illustrations, friendly banter between birds of various kinds and conversational and humorous verse, this “guide” book presents various facets of bird watching to readers.

For example, Annette uses this handy “Rainbow of Color” chart for quickly identifying birds just by knowing what color group they belong to.

Look Up Bird Watching rainbow of birds

Or this “Shapes” guide, which you could use for sketching out birds when you are out bird watching.

Look Up Bird Watching drawing

And if you ever so venture out to other places specifically for bird watching, then one would notice different birds at different places. For example, the roadrunners thrive in a desert environment and one can learn very much about what it likes to eat and how it survives by observing its natural habitat.

Look Up Bird Watching habitat

We loved “Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard” for so many reasons. I have to admit that I have never ever considered bird watching as an entertaining or educational activity. However, from the time I picked up this book, I was hooked! The friendly conversational style writing, the easy to read comic book style illustrations and the engaging information kept me going. Each of its busy pages presents information in form of charts or maps or comic strips. The humorous dialogues from the birds breaks up the tempo and keeps the book from becoming a monotonous “how to” guide. Annette Le Blanc Cate’s passion for drawing and bird watching comes together in a brilliantly executed book, accessible and entertaining for every age group!

At the end, this book is not just for budding ornithologists! Anyone who has an appreciation for nature and art will delight in this book.

Highly engaging and loads of fun! This book is a HIT! 

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


19 comments

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  1. We loved this book!

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    • reshamad

      I couldn’t put this one down! Never believed I would get pulled into a book on Bird Watching!
      -Reshama

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  2. Ok, you have me, now I have to find a copy of it LOL. I would never ever say I would ever be a bird watcher, but this one does look hilarious. Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    • reshamad

      Oh you wont regret it Julie. I assure you once you pick it up you wont stop till you have read every inch of the book
      -Reshama

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  3. Being on the CYBILS panel sounds awesome, Resh! Great job on your first place pick. Thanks for hosting the KLBH yet again!

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    • reshamad

      Thanks Jaymie! It was super fun having to read through the finalists and ponder over why one book should get the first place.. I wish I could nominate more for the top slot
      -Reshama

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  4. This looks so fun! I love how much humor is incorporated, especially since birdwatching books are typically so dry. This book is definitely going on my to-buy list!
    Being on the Cybils panel sounds rad – congrats!

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    • reshamad

      Exactly! That was the genius in this book Katie. I think making non fiction accessible is HARD and Cate does it superbly!
      -Reshama

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  5. My children love watching the wild birds in our garden and daily dropping by our birdfeeder. They’re probably better at naming them than I am… so this looks like a perfect book for them.

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    • reshamad

      It sure is perfect! I think if its good enough to convert me, then budding ornithologists will LOVE this book
      -Reshama

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  6. ccarpinello

    What a great book! One for my grandson who loves birds. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop, Reshama. Cheryl

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    • reshamad

      Highly recommend it Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by. Do let me know how he likes it!
      -Reshama

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  7. I’m looking forward to getting ahold of this book. It should make a great birthday present for lots of people – both young and old! Thanks for spotlighting this one!

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    • reshamad

      aha ha! that was my idea too for this year birthday lists Kate!
      -Reshama

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  8. Like you, I have never ever considered bird watching as an entertaining or educational activity! But your review of this book is already making me reconsider! I can’t wait to see and enjoy the actual book! Thanks so much for sharing another excellent review at Booknificent Thursday! It is always such a pleasure to have you.
    Tina

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    • reshamad

      With summer coming, this book will be just right Tina!
      -Reshama

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  9. What a fabulous book for budding bird watchers. I think it’s a great idea for a kids’ book (why didn’t I think of that?) This is one area that I was well-trained in as a kid. We grew up in a rural area where there would be many, many different species of birds (100’s). My parents taught us to identify birds by sight and sound. Today, in the city, all we see is crows! Blech…

    Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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    • reshamad

      wow! that is amazing! I would highly recommend this for you and kiddos Renee! Its so well done, and one can not put it down, i assure you
      -Reshama

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