Feathers: Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Charlesbridge, 2014, 32 pages.
“Birds and feathers go together, like trees and leaves, like stars and sky. All birds have feathers, but no other animals do.” And did you know . . .
That’s the premise of every good science picture book: the promise of fascinating real facts about the world we live in. Poke creation anywhere and you’ll find an unsuspected wealth of detail and variety. The structure of a single feather is amazing and complex, but the author doesn’t go there, nor into the supposed evolutionary development. Her focus is purely on use: warming and cushioning, scrubbing, digging, sliding, shading, hiding or flaunting. Who would have thought? Each use is accompanied by beautiful water-color portraits of birds in habitat, with close-ups of each type of feather and similes of how they are used (like a life jacket, like a whistle, etc.). Watch out—it could turn readers into birders.
Overall Quality: 4 (out of 5)
Audience: Independent readers, pre-readers, educators
Recommended use: Read aloud, personal browsing, science enrichment