HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD images ©2014 Kenard Pak. Reproduced with permission from HMH Books for Young Readers
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? By Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak; HMH Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8.
Bird books are wonderful reasons to employ onomatopoeia, and Rita Gray’s latest foray in nonfiction joyfully employs this device. Written in rhyming call and response format, the story is at once active and calm, asking readers to step back and listen to the distinctive and musical sounds of nesting birds around them. Dreamworks artist Kenard Pak debuts as a book illustrator with lovely watercolors and digital media. Double page spreads of crows taking flight and robins sitting on their eggs evoke the soft, first-blush colors of spring. A mock interview with a mother bird (“A Word with the Bird”) cheerfully explains nesting bird behavior as well as best practices for human-avian interaction.