Monday, February 04, 2008

Nonfiction Monday

Bird, Bird, Bird! (A Chirping Chant)
by April Pulley Sayre
illustrated by Gary Locke
Northword Press, 2007

I didn't think April Pulley Sayre could top Trout, Trout, Trout and Ant, Ant, Ant, her first two chant books. But she has!

63 names of American birds, arranged in a rhyming chant and illustrated with caricatures, invite the reader to experience the diversity of bird life in America.

This is not a serious birding book. This is a book for sparking interest based on the sometimes descriptive, sometimes wacky names of the birds. In the back of the book, each bird gets 1-2 sentences of factual information.

This is also a book for word lovers and poets. April must do some serious tinkering, fiddling, and reading out loud before she has a final rhyme. And then, how fun to see it come to life in a whole new way once the illustrations are added!

How's this for a poetry stretch -- could you take the names of a group of, say, 10-20 rodents, or mammals (or even poets, authors or bloggers) and make them into a rhyming chant? I'm heading over to Miss Rumphius right now to suggest it!

Our interview with April last year is here.
Charlotte's Library got an advanced copy of April's next book, Trees Are Made of Trout (I'm so jealous!), which she reviews here.
April's website is here.
The Nonfiction Monday roundup is here.


  1. Mary Lee,

    Thanks for this post. I'm an admirer of Sayre's nonfiction books. I haven't heard of these chanting books. They sound like they'd be fun to read aloud. I'm going to have to check them out.

  2. Elaine,
    It's even more fun to hear April read...or should I say RECITE them! She said Trout, Trout, Trout from memory faster than I could turn the pages of the book a couple years ago at the CLA breakfast at NCTE. It was simply breathtaking! (Hers and ours!)

  3. Hi,
    I just found your blog this morning. I'm looking for some great books for my 10 year old son to read. He is an avid reader. I'm trying to help him balance silly books with insightful books which will help him see the world from many perspectives. He is your usual silly 10 year old but has a very spiritual and empathetic/understanding/caring heart. He is also very smart--carries 100% averages in most subjects. Any suggestions?
    Thanks bunches!

  4. Oh this looks wonderful!! I'm going to have to add this one.



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