What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the friends in this warm tale model great friendship skills, working together to solve problems and create a keepsake together.
What's the story?
On a blustery spring day, Mouse and Mole want to go bird watching and make bird books, but the birds are too easily frightened away. The frustrated friends come up with a plan to camouflage themselves, covering their clothes in fake feathers and building a nest of their own. They're finally able to get an up-close look so they can draw in their sketchpads. Back home, they blend their talents for drawing and writing to create a bird book together.
Is it any good?
Parents and children alike will enjoy going on an adventure with these two winsome friends. Wong Herbert Yee’s little heroes -- this is their fourth book -- cover a lot of ground: scientific observation, brainstorming, teamwork, and more. Each chapter offers something meaty for kids to chew on: bird behavior and songs, how nests are built, crafting a disguise, and collaborating on a book. Along the way, kids get a strong lesson on friendship and problem-solving.
The lengthy text, divided into four chapters and gently paced, may test the patience of some young kids. Simple sentences and a softly repetitive structure, along with the amusing story, help pull new readers along. With a strong emphasis on sequential action, this could serve as something of a playbook for kids who want to plan an adventure of their own.
Soft hues of green, brown, and orange ground ample illustrations that enrich and move along the text.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the friends work together. Point out ways they cooperate and help solve problems. Mole proves to be a better artist and Mouse a better writer; instead of making separate books, they decide to work together. Have you collaborated with a friend who is better at some things than you are?
Mole uses a bird whistle to mimic the sounds of birds. Go outside or open a window and listen carefully to the bird songs. How many different songs do you hear? Can you tell which bird is singing which song?
Mouse and Mole carefully observe the birds, drawing in their sketchpads, so they can learn more about the animals and make a book. Pick an animal -- birds, or perhaps squirrels, dogs, or insects -- and create a book of your own.