Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review of B is for Bufflehead

B is for Bufflehead: Flying through the ABC's with fine-feathered friends is the product of two years of work by photographer and author Steve Hutchcraft. He took the time to find 49 different kinds of birds from North America, two for each letter of the alphabet (except U, X and Z). He then photographed each one and then researched each one. Through the pages of the book, each bird tells its own story. After the birds are introduced, readers are invited to take a "Who's Who?" quiz that serves as a sort of reading comprehension with picture recognition, as well as providing information on even more North American birds. The back of the book has a full index with even more information about each bird, including its range, habitat, food and other fun facts.He also includes a variety of websites and print books that serve as resources for further information.

To emphasize the alphabet in both uppercase and lowercase, two birds are used. One has its name written with the lowercase letter and the other is written with the uppercase letter. My only problem with this is that they don't seem to follow the usual patterns for proper and common nouns.

The photographs are absolutely stunning. Hutchcraft is a very talented artist. I love that he uses real photographs instead of illustrations, so that children can really know what the bird looks like. I also love the wealth of information given about each bird. The book is presented in such a way that older children could use this book for research and younger children could simply enjoy learning the different names of the birds. Adults would even be able to use it as somewhat of a field guide. It is very versatile.

I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review of this book. This is one that I would definitely like to add to my classroom library. Plus, a portion of the proceeds of the sales of B is for Bufflehead will be donated to habitat conservation and environment education.

Visit the official website for B is for Bufflehead. It includes fun activities and lesson plans coming soon.

Check out some of Steve Hutchcrafts's nature photography at his website.

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