(B) Ages 4-8, (C) Ages 8-10, Book Reviews, Middle Grades, Nonfiction, Picture Books
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*National Wildlife Federation World of Birds by Kim Kirki

*National Wildlife Federation World of Birds: a Beginners Guide, by Kim Kirki. Black Dog & Levanthal, 2014, 80 pages including glossary and index.

Reading Level: Picture Book, Ages 4-8; Middle Grades, Ages 8-10
Maturity Level: All

One-line Summary: From the handsomely-embossed cover to the hand-lettered chapter titles, this book is a delight.

There are no photos (okaworld of birdsy—one photo), just full-color drawings, and lots of them. It’s not an exhaustive compilation, but a close look at 32 bird species (along with relatives and look-alikes). The represented birds are arranged in four habitats: Fields, Thickets & Backyards; Woodlands & Forests; Wetlands, Shores & Bodies of Water; Deserts, Scrublands & Rocky Slopes. Each bird gets two pages—one lavish cover page with male and female specimens, diet, interesting quirks (like mating behaviors), and a little rhyme. The rhymes would be cloying in other types of presentation, but here’s they’re friendly and personable. The opposite pages have more text but still plenty of illustration, featuring more interesting facts. Most of the specimens are American birds that American kids are likely to encounter, but some are European or Asian. The content here is not as comprehensive as Look Up!, but if you have potential birdwatchers among your household, this may get them hooked.

Cautions: none

Overall Value: 5 (0ut of 5)

  • Informational value: 4.5
  • Artistic Value: 5

Categories: Nonfiction, Middle Grades, Picture Books, Starred Review, Natural Science, Biology, Gift Books

nonfiction, science, picture books, middle grades, gift books, biology, animals, birds, hobbies, National Wildlife Federation World of Birds, Kim Kirki, Reading Level: Picture books ages 4-8, Reading Level: Middle grades ages 8-10, Maturity level: all




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  1. I’m copying your questions to answer thoroughly:

    Our reading level indicates where a child’s reading abilities are, but the maturity level may be different. Is it helpful to you to include this information?

    If it were me I would include both reading level and a general idea of a maturity level because there are some very advanced young readers who don’t need to read some things.

    We wanted to include particular cautions, like sexuality, worldview, language, etc., to help parents make decisions about what they recommend their kids read. What specific cautions would you like to be informed about?

    There’s a movie review site I read (maybe Common Sense media?) that goes through all of those things and gives a general overview of what types of things are in there, I think they break it down into: language, violence, sexuality, drugs/alcohol. I think worldview is also there, but it’s not a quick sentence break down.

    The audience is meant to include everyone in your school or household who might be interested in this book, even though it may be directed at a higher or lower age level. The recommended use indicates whether the book is better for independent reading or reading aloud (0r both!), private study, reference, supplement, etc. Is this helpful?


  2. sunny says

    Is this helpful?

    yes, yes, YES!

    I would agree with Ticia’s comments. As the mom of a 10yo daughter that reads at a college level, helping her choose appropriate books is challenging. While she enjoys typical “5th grade” books from time to time, they are often unchallenging and unsatisfying. On the other hand, my boys (8 and 5) read “at grade level”, but I am always excited to find new books for them. I think they will both enjoy the book reviewed above.

    Thank you for all of your hard work. It is definitely appreciated! 🙂

  3. Kelli says

    I agree with both Ticia and Sunny. Not much else to add. I love this site and have found some great books for my kids here. Thanks for all you do!

  4. A bedrock Caution should be issued if the book assumes nature evolved over millions of years.
    No caution for this category means the book reinforces or is consistent with creation by God who is outside of and distinct from nature.
    Though it could be subsumed under “worldview,” this view of the world merits a category in addition to “Worldview.”

    Another twisted worldview that might deserve checklist status (Caution category) on all reviews of fiction:
    Conflict is resolved by accepting the wicked person(s) into a blend of good with evil without the wicked being punished or repenting.

  5. Cheryl says

    ” . . .but if you have potential birdwatchers among your household, this may get them hooked.” Due to your recommendation here, combined with the video, “Your Backyard: A Young Beginner’s Guide to Identifying Common Feeder Birds by Sight & Sound” (available at cbd.com), my daughters are more aware and excited about this aspect of God’s creation. They are constantly rattling off interesting details about birds of which I am ignorant. Thanks for the recommendation!

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