Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Look up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

Cate, Annette LeBlanc (Author/Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2013. 51 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780763645618 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 598
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Award

Robert F. Sibert Honor Book – 2014

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This non-fiction book uses comic book techniques to engage young readers in the idea of bird-watching.

The language is conversational: “The point is . . . spending time outside observing life and drawing in a sketchbook can help you see the world in a whole new way.” Speech balloons serve up jokes and captions. A parrot perches on a girl’s finger, saying, “We’re escaped pet birds who’ve started our own colonies!” Whether young readers have a yard or an apartment window, whether looking at plumage or listening to bird-calls, this book has tips for the occasion.

Charming pen and watercolour sketches create lovable (and accurate) characters of the birds. Full-page illustrations take readers into yards, city settings and to the beach. One spread shows a wide range of different coloured species, divided along the rainbow’s spectrum. Another shows variations among the modern sparrow species, as they flounce along a catwalk: “But on her it works!” “I am SO getting my tail notched!”

Chapters include birds in different habitats, in migration and their scientific classification. This book offers a great deal of information for a single reading, but its organization allows for fruitful browsing, again and again.

  •  

    In pairs, play a game called Name That Bird. Write several facts about a bird onto a cue card. Challenge your friends to find that bird in the book.

  •  

    Create a glossary of terms for the back of the book (e.g. plumage, migratory, precocial).

  •  

    Discuss the idiom: a bird’s-eye view. List the pages that give us a bird’s-eye view of the illustrations.

  •  

    Discuss the general layout of the book. What information is in the speech balloons, boxes and text? Where do you find the most important information? Predict the answers to the questions in the “Be a Birdbrain” boxes. How will you read a page? 

  •  

    With a partner, select a chapter from the table of contents. Compose five questions and quiz another team. Use a dictionary to find the meanings of new words.

  •  Using information from the book, make a poster illustrating and describing a bird in your region (colour, shape, birdsong, habitat, migration).
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology