Feathers, Not just for Flying!by Melissa Stewart (Author), Sarah S. Brannen (Illustrator)
Many uses for the feathers
My little one is always fascinated by feathers. If she ever finds a feather lying about, she will pick it up and examine it. I am pretty sure that there are lots of children who would do exactly that
“Birds and feathers go together, like trees and leaves, like stars and the sky” opens the book. Melissa Stewart goes on to explain that although most birds have thousands of feathers, the feathers are not the same. And that’s because they have different jobs to do..
The book then goes on to explain these many different jobs and uses of feathers. Each double page spread, presents us with a unique way that feathers are used by the birds. On one side we see the shape, size and color of the feather up-close. Alongside the feather, is a small familiar object (such as a piece of a blanket to indicate warmth, a sponge to indicate soaking water etc.) which helps readers to identify its use and relate it to the use of the feather. A few lines of description highlight the functionality and usefulness of the feathers. On the other page, a beautiful water color illustration of the bird with an appropriate setting adorns the page.
Part journal, part scrap-book, this creative non-fiction is a superb way of getting children acquainted with the subject. We loved the presentation and style of the book. The facts are easy to read and nicely summarized. Kids will love to read unusual facts such as how the heron will raise its wings while searching for food. The shade blocks out the sun’s glare and allows it to spot tasty fish to eat.
I am continuously impressed by the creative presentation of Non Fiction picture books. Making nonfiction accessible to children of this age group requires imagination. Melissa Stewart, author of over 100 nonfiction picture books, does not disappoint! In “Feathers, not just for flying”, Stewart uses 16 birds as an example, from backyard blue jays to exotic birds like the peacock and winged manakin.
The book concludes with a note and diagram about how scientists use classification. And in the Authors note section, she describes how she came upon working on the book and subject.
A well-researched and beautifully presented, this book is a keeper!