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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Book Review - Celebrating Birds - Harper Collins Publishers and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

       
     Having reviewed books for several years for Princeton University Press, it was interesting to receive requests recently from two different sources to review books. Both sounded appealing and I was happy to oblige.
     This is a particularly fine volume, covering 181 North American birds, produced as a collaborative venture between Harper Collins Publishers and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and  illustrated by Natalia Rojas and Ana María Martínez. Rojas and Martínez are the illustrators of the wildly successful board game Wingspan and their wonderful expressive art is featured in this book. Not only is technical accuracy captured, but each illustration gives a real feel for the bird; a lifelike portrayal conveys movement and personality. The book is lovingly illustrated from the inside front cover right up up to the inside back cover. The common and scientific names are provided for each species, along with a brief description. A "Cool fact" is furnished so that the reader learns not only identification techniques, but a little about the lifestyle of the bird.
     True to their origins as illustrators of a board game, Rojas and Martínez have risen to the challenge of providing an entertaining aspect to the book by introducing a game inspired by Wingspan, with options to play indoors or out.
     It has been my experience in working with groups of young birders, in fact with novices of any age, that a challenge adds to the excitement and the mystique of discovering and getting to know new species. Any added dimension to the enjoyment of birds contributes to developing a commitment to not only birds, but to nature writ large. In an age of environmental degradation we need a new generation of eco-heroes, and this work has the potential to develop the interest and the skills required to begin the remediation of the damage we have caused to the biosphere. Throughout history birds have been a powerful force in developing a sensitivity to nature.
     At our local naturalists club we have a kids group and a teens group. I will make sure that this book is put to good use in furthering their interest in, and understanding of, birds. 
     I highly recommend this book as a significant teaching tool. It makes learning fun!

Celebrating Birds - Harper Collins Publishers and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Natalia Rojas and Ana María Martínez
USA $29.99, Canada $36.99
ISBN: 978-0-06-304574-3
352 pages - Full colour illustrations throughout
Published 2021
 

37 comments:

  1. With 181 birds it is a generous volume.

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  2. It sounds great. I am not surprised that more and more places are asking you to review books. You do a sterling job each and every time.

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  3. It sounds like a very good book David. I'm sure the illustrations are great. It's nice to have books for kids and teens group. It's good to get them interested in early age. My children learnt about flowers before they could walk :)

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  4. I'm sure that this volume will appeal to many youngsters, but there are also others who learn best from simply being treated as adults and allowed to participate in activities that aren't always open to them.

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  5. Hello David,
    This book sounds great, a fun way to be involved with birds and nature. Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

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  6. This sounds like a really good book, with the added interest of beautifully composed illustrations, 'cool facts', and challenges to play - a great idea. Thanks for the review, have a great day, hugs to you both, Valerie

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  7. Thanks for a most wonderful series of images shared of the book & your review. ...

    ~Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'

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  8. I hope you get to keep all the books that you are asked to review! I'd love to see those illustrations.

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  9. Thank you for recommending the book - it sounds great.

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  10. A great review, David, of what appears to be an excellent book, although it will not be one for me as I'm trying to stick to items of more immediate relevance.

    It is snowing here as I write this - who would have thought that two weeks ago we had the second hottest March day on record!

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    1. This would not be for you, Richard. It covers North American birds and is intended to be put to use!

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  11. Kudos to the publishers, and kudos to you, David, for bringing this great book to the public's knowledge!

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  12. This sounds like the perfect book to pique the interest of young people in birds.

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  13. Your bookshelf must be a marvel of bird books. What a great idea to make this one interactive, all the better to appreciate the wildlife outside our doors!

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  14. It looks an interesting book but I would like to see on like this on European birds. I hope all is well with you both. Diane

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  15. The book sounds like a god one. Nice review, David and thanks for correcting my id on the grey heron. I learned something new from you, thanks again.

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  16. Sans doute encore un très bel ouvrage. J'ai vu des verdiers tout à l'heure dans le jardin.
    Bonne soirée

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  17. Sounds like an interesting book.

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  18. Un atractivo y bello volumen muy documentado. Al parecer es un libro muy interesante y además cubre una buena parte de aves con sus 181 aves americanas.
    Un fuerte abrazo querido amigo, profesor y compadre David, te deseo una buena semana entrante.

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  19. Sounds quite unlike anything I have ever seen before in this field.

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  20. Otro libro interesante querido amigo. Abrazos.

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  21. This book sounds a very good one!

    All the best Jan

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  22. A nice book review David and I do hope the children will enjoy to reed it too.
    Regards,
    Roos

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  23. Sounds like a valuable teaching tool. It makes learning fun!
    Thanks for the great review, David!

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  24. This looks like another good book, especially the illustrations.

    And I chuckled at your comment on my blog, about some evangelical saying that covid-19 is due to people turning to pagan god worship. It reminds me of back in 2011, here in the US, when politician Michele Bachmann said the earthquake that was felt along much of the East coast was due to God being angry at America, or some such. (The earthquake had damaged the Washington Monument in DC and was felt as far north as Connecticut, and other states.) Apparently a few days later, she said she was "joking." Sure she was (sarcasm).

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  25. This would sure be very interesting to me with all the illustrations and photos :)

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  26. Great review David! I've been looking out the window a lot lately and I think I may have some Juncos, haven't seen them here before, very exciting! :)

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  27. Sounds like a great book that will be invaluable for teaching anyone interested in learning about birds. The illustrations on the cover are wonderful.

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  28. I've never heard of this game. The book sounds interesting and a wonderful way to perhaps introduce birds to those who need that extra bit of fun to enjoy.

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  29. I don't suppose a birder could ever have too many bird books.

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  30. I'd not heard of the board game. Between the game and the book, I've just ticked a name off my "what should I get?" Christmas gift list!

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  31. Hi David - it does sound like a fascinating book ... and I've looked at the game, which I see is now in NZ and Aus for their birds. I'm so pleased you're getting to do some other reviews - it's always interesting to know about new books - cheers Hilary

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  32. Se ve tu gran interés por las aves y procuras estar siempre bien informado.

    Que tengas un hermoso día.

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