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Bird Builds a Nest: A First Science Storybook

by Martin Jenkins

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523417,425 (4)None
"It's time for Bird to build her nest! Follow her as she pulls a worm out of the ground, lifts some twigs that are just the right size, and pushes the twigs into place. Uh-oh! One of the twigs falls to the ground! But after a day of hard work, Bird's nest is ready and waiting"--Publisher's website.

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Martin Jenkins has written several "first science storybooks" and I recently read through a slew of them, these two being some of my favorites. On a quick surface read, they appear to be about animals and seasons, but dig a little deeper and they actually incorporate specific science concepts.

In The Squirrel's Busy Year, Jones' earth colors illustrate Jenkins' story of the seasons through the eyes of a family of squirrels. An owl sits silently on a tree, a recurrent figure through the story. Young listeners will learn how squirrels visit their food caches over the winter, search for buds in the spring, dig up bulbs, and survive a storm in the summer. When fall returns, animals begin to hibernate and the squirrels work to build up a food supply for the winter ahead. There's more to the story than just the seasonal changes for squirrels; as explain in an opening note for parents, this book is about the science of the seasons. Each description of the season and the squirrels' behavior includes a note about the position of the sun and the changes in the weather. The final note includes seasonal activities and a simple index.

In Bird builds a nest, Jenkins uses even simpler language, suitable for a toddler, to show a brief season in the life of a bird. Bird hunts for a worm; after unsuccessfully trying for a big one, she successfully catches a small worm. Next, Bird works on her special project - building a nest. She collects just the right kind of twigs and weaves them together to create a nest. When the nest is lined and finished, it's ready for eggs! This is not just a book about nest-building, it's also a book about forces. The opening note gives readers simple language and concepts to discuss with children and the book incorporates those concepts in how the bird pulls at the worm then chooses a smaller one that can't resist as much, and how she pushes and pulls to weave in the sticks. A final note suggests some activities and a simple index is also included.

These books make fun reading, just right for a toddler or preschool storytime about squirrels, seasons, or birds. They're also a great choice for STEM-based programs for little ones. Use Bird as a central choice for a story about building things, then provide string, twigs, and other recyclables for children to make their own nest. Squirrel would make a great introduction to how the earth moves and affects the seasons; pair it with a flashlight and some shadow puppetry or some globes to learn more.

Verdict: Excellent choices to bring more science into your storytimes and classrooms for younger children.

The squirrel's busy year
ISBN: 9780763696009; Published July 2018 by Candlewick; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Bird builds a nest
ISBN: 9780763693466; Published January 2018 by Candlewick; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 9, 2018 |
In this story, it tells about a bird's day in building her nest to lay her eggs. Throughout the story, the reader not only sees what a bird's instincts are, but it also teaches the concept of push and pull. When the bird is looking for food, she is pulling to get a worm, and when the bird is building her nest, she is pushing twigs together.
This is a nice story to introduce to students the idea of gravity and push and pull. ( )
  ctran1 | Nov 21, 2018 |
Mixed-media illustrations (looks like paper-cut and digital color) show the life of a bird: she wakes up hungry, finds a nice juicy worm, then gets to work building a nest with twigs, dried grass, and feathers. The book ends with eggs in the nest. A sweet informational read-aloud, even without the "Thinking about pushing and pulling" information at the back. ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 14, 2018 |
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"It's time for Bird to build her nest! Follow her as she pulls a worm out of the ground, lifts some twigs that are just the right size, and pushes the twigs into place. Uh-oh! One of the twigs falls to the ground! But after a day of hard work, Bird's nest is ready and waiting"--Publisher's website.

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