Sweep Up the Sun, by Helen Frost, photographs by Rick Lieder; Candlewick Press, 32 pages, $15.99, all ages. (Published March 10)
Haven’t we all had that dream where we’re flying with the birds? Live out those fantasies while reading award-winning author Helen Frost’s lyrical invitation to soar alongside feathered friends in Sweep Up the Sun. At its most basic level, the poem is exploring birds in flight, but it is also a rally for cooped-up children to return outdoors, to spread their wings, and take off for unexpected adventures. Stunning, in-flight photographs of Chickadees, Cardinals, White-Breasted Nuthatches are courtesy of Rick Lieder, who previously collaborated with Frost on Step Gently Out. An informative glossary (with information gleaned from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) provides distinctive characteristics, migration patterns and feeding habits of the eleven birds featured in the book. Consider this volume a lovely introduction to backyard birding, an invitation to observe these beautiful creatures often perched just outside our windows.