Spring time brings sunshine, rain, hope, and the promise of new life. Through beautiful artwork, photographs, and simple, yet compelling text, these books share stories of new animal life.
“Nest” by Jorey Hurley, 2014, Paula Wiseman Books, ages 3-7.
A baby robin becomes the focal point for two robin parents as the story follows the bird family through the seasons until the hatchling grows up and starts a family of its own. Told through a single word on each page, the beauty of this story lies in its simplicity and bright illustrations emphasizing the red of the robin and the blue of the eggs. At the end of the book, the author includes a note with factual information about robins, along with a description of her own experiences of watching a robin family with her daughters through their kitchen window.
“Over in the Forest” by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jill Dubin, 2013, Dawn Publications, ages 3 to 8.
The mother and baby bond of forest animals sets the stage for this counting book, with words set to the traditional song “Over in the Meadow”. Textured paper is used to create collage illustrations depicting the bark on trees, the fur on animals, and the flow of water. After reading the rhyme, readers will be eager to search among the illustrations for the hidden animals. End-of-the-book materials include factual information about the various animals and tips from the author and illustrator.
“101 Animal Babies” by Melvin & Gilda Berger, 2013, Scholastic, ages 7-11.
From butterflies, to chameleons, to koalas, readers will learn facts about animal babies from various parts of the world and their habitats. On each page, readers will encounter a new animal with information presented in bright color photographs, a catchy heading, and a paragraph of text. An index is available for locating specific animals, although within the book, animals are organized alphabetically.
“My Baby Blue Jays” by John Berendt, Viking, 2011, ages3 and up.
The true story of a blue jay family’s spring activities is told through the eyes of the New York City resident and owner of the balcony where these birds call home. Berendt’s color photographs capture the building of the nest, hatching of the babies, and a young one’s first attempt at venturing out alone. Readers will have a bird’s eye view of the blue jay family, along with the author’s narrative text describing the real life scenes.
“A Book of Babies” by Il Sung Na, 2013, Alfed A. Knopf, ages 3 and up.
Animal mothers and their babies are featured in this sweet book of simple text and bright illustrations. Il Sung Na is a South Korean author/illustrator. For these illustrations, she created handmade painterly textures, which were then used to create digital layers which present a collage appearance. Na’s other picture books follow a similar style, including “Hide & Seek” and “Zzz A Book of Sleep”.
Reviewed and photo by Elizabeth Dobler