Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, everyone shares wonderful non-fiction picture books. We learn much from authors who write about special topics.
In this book, there is no story other than an intro by Geraldo Valério telling of his love of birds. However, the pages Valério has designed and filled with glorious paper collages of the birds of North America, filling double pages when there are larger birds. The text about each is brief, but sometimes extra information is added. There is a glossary, further sources of information and an index.
The bird collages please in their intricacy, managing to show action and bursting with color. Some pages show small parts from the text, like a semblance of a tree with blue herons, where they build their nests. Another favorite of mine shows the male and the female Mallards, nestled in water, with a predator taking a look over in the corner. Not only is this book lovely, but the front endpapers show eggs from each bird, and the back endpapers showcase the feathers.
I might use this as a mentor text for non-fiction illustrated research, with a lesson in collage art. I certainly would have it in my classroom as a source when studying birds, a beginning to inspire an interest in the amazing variety of birds here in North America. It's a beautiful book!
Here is one spread that I loved, but illustrator webpage shows many other gorgeous ones here!