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A Bird Is a Bird

By Lizzy Rockwell

Birds come in many shapes, sizes and colors. They live on every corner of the earth, and in every kind of habitat. But despite their many differences, they all have certain traits in common. There are other animals with beaks or wings, or who hatch from eggs like birds do.  But there is one feature that makes only a bird a bird! Can you guess what it is?


This level D non-fiction easy-reader inspires a child's natural curiosity about some of nature's most interesting, visually stunning, and elusive animals. It also models the deductive reasoning about how to categorize all things on earth; a major cornerstone of scientific thinking.  A Bird Is a Bird meets criteria for Common Core Standards and STEM education


The text is simple and poetic, and the portraits of dozens of kinds of birds are scientifically accurate, and artistically rendered in gouache and colored pencil. 

Hardbound ISBN: 978-0-8234-3042-0

"What makes birds different from other animals? With elegant clarity and great charm, Lizzy Rockwell introduces the common physical characteristics of this much-varied class of critters and gets to the heart of just why A Bird Is a Bird (Holiday House; PreS-Gr 2). Simple rhythmic text and dynamic mixed-media paintings point out a particular trait (a bird has a beak) and then provide examples of how this attribute is utilized by different avian species—a beak can pick fruit (scarlet macaw or blue-headed parrot), catch fish (white ibis or other shore denizens), peck (pileated woodpecker), or get nectar (ruby-throated hummingbird). A bird also has two wings (that “flap and glide” or “swim and dive”), starts out in an egg (and a nest in a tree or on the ground), and has feathers (for standing out like a male peacock, blending in like an eastern screech owl, and other uses). Uncluttered spreads depict an array of winged wonders from across the globe, each labeled with species name, and the images consistently expand the information presented in the text. In addition to introducing bird basics, this book could be used to launch discussion of animal classification and how scientist identify species."

School Library Journal, June 2015

Bank Street Center for Children's Literature

Pick of the Month for May 2015!

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