Monday, May 10, 2010

Peachtree Week! Book Reviews & Book Giveaways!

Welcome to Peachtree Week on the Picture Book Junkies blog!

For the first time ever, the PBJ's are doing a week of reviews with a single publisher's books. Each day this week, one of the PBJ's will review a book from Peachtree Press. We encourage you to comment each day because at the end of the week, we will have a drawing to giveaway some Peachtree books! We are so delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate children's books in this way, and we hope you enjoy the week (and maybe even win a book)!

Today it's my turn, and I am reviewing A Place For Birds" written by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Higgins Bond.

I was very excited for Peachtree Week here on our PBJ blog, but I must tell you that I was a little bit nervous about getting my book. Typically, I choose exactly what I wish to review here on the blog, and thus far, I have only reviewed books I chose because I knew I already loved them. So, reviewing a book I was not familiar with from the get-go, a book chosen from a select group of books which I had never read, was, honestly, a little daunting. I wanted to make sure that no matter how I felt about the book, my review was fair and objective. (What good is a review if it is not objective?)

It turns out that I did not need to worry. A Place For Birds is a wonderful book -- from the tone of the writing to the lavish, colorful spreads. 

A Place For Birds shares information about specific breeds of birds. First explaining details of the specific birds' natural habitat, the text then shares a point of great tension regarding how something has interfered in the birds' habitat, whether it be humans disrupting the land for the sake of commerce or technology, or something else. It's tough to learn how the birds lives and livelihoods have been upset, but it is solid, well researched information that is important for everyone to be aware of. The good news is that text for each bird spread wraps up by explaining what strides are being taken by man to rectify the situations for the birds. The writing is somewhat conversational and very easy to digest especially given the subject matter. Which makes it not only an important book but also just a good book, period.

The art work is just gorgeous - lush and detailed. The art is very realistic and accurate to each breed of bird and even to each landscape (all of the greenery and landscapes are, I am sure, correct to each specific birds' habitat).The accuracy of the rendering does not stand in the way of overall creativity and illustrative style. Beautiful illustrations of birds and scenic backdrops take the viewer right into the birds' world view.

A Place For Birds is a great mix of the educational and the inspirational. Check it out!


Nina Crittenden said...

Great review! We are always on the lookout for great bird books, as we are a family of backyard birdwachers! :)

Laura J said...

I'm a birdwatcher too. Have to get this book, it looks wonderful.

Ann Marie DiVecchia said...

This review (like the other of yours that I read) makes me want to go and get the book. Well done! I have a thing both for birds and endangered species.

Suzanne Del Rizzo said...

Great Review Kathy. My Dad would love to read this to his grandkids,as he breeds birds as a hobby. He'd really enjoy the attention to detail in the illustrations. A whole story devoted to one of his favorite creatures- putting it on my must-have list for sure!

Kathy Weller said...

Ann Marie, that's great! I hope you check it out!

Suzanne & Laura, yes I think it is great for bird watchers / breeders / enthusiasts... or even just anyone who loves birds. But bird enthusasts will especially be fascinated by some of the fun facts! :)

Nina, thanks! Glad you liked the review!

Michelle Henninger said...

Great review Kathy! My kids really enjoy learning about birds, so this is probably a great book for them too! Thanks for sharing!