Monday, March 13, 2006

Sing, Nightingale, Sing

Ten Reasons Why Sing, Nightingale, Sing! by Francoise de Guibert, illustrated by Chiaki Miyamoto is a cool and fun book:

  1. Who doesn't like birds? This tells about 60 different birds, from appearance to habits to food.
  2. The illustrations are clear and detailed.
  3. You know how frustrating it is to read about a sound being described, but how you just can't "get it" because it's a sound, music, a bird call? Or at most they give you an Internet link that may or many not still be working, and that depending on your connection you may or may not hear? Not to worry: find out what all the birds really sound like thanks to the included CD, with music by Daniel Goyone. It's birds and music; way cool.
  4. Sometimes, we read for story; other times, for information. This is a great information book, the type that you don't so much read page by page, but rather bird by bird, depending on what you're interested in. Having just read Birdwing, I first read about swans.
  5. The birds are pictured together in their typical environment, so its realistic; it's not swans are pictured next to sea gulls next to parrots, in some imagined bird utopia where all birds live regardless of "real" habitat.
  6. I love footnotes and indexes and endnotes. Since this book is grouped by habitat, there are references to make it easy to find the bird you're interested in. It not only make this book easy to use, but it's a fun way for kids to start using these types of finding aids.
  7. I'm not a birdwatcher. I can barely tell a blue jay from a robin. But I loved leafing through this book, admiring the illustrations, and learning about birds that I usually only know through books.
  8. Eight, eight, I forget what eight was for.
  9. My niece, Queen Lucy, is usually very understanding about having to wait to take a book home until Aunt Sissy has reviewed it. In this case, however, she insisted that she bring it to her house immediately, leaving me to make scrawled notes on post-its while she was putting her jacket on. It passes the "must own it NOW" test of a five year old.
  10. And I put the scrawled notes in a safe place, and they are now LOST, so I had to go by memory, and this book and its details were good enough to stick in my memory without notes.
Bonus points to the first person who can name the reference made in number 8.


Anonymous said...

The Violent Femmes, of course. Whatever that song is that goes "they do it all the time, yeah, yeah."

Thanks for a fun book review. I'm on a mission to uncover more "information books", so this one is particularly timely. Thanks!

Liz B said...

We have a winner!

I'll be interested to read your review of this one.