Since Sunday, we have been starting and finishing our days with the same book – Birds of a Feather by Bernadette Gervais and Francesco Pittau. This gorgeously illustrated book won Budster’s heart from the first look.

Our Favourite Books: Birds of a Feather

It comes to us from France, where the talent of Gervais and Pittau collaborated on this book/game/puzzle for all ages. I had no doubts about getting this book for our family as soon as I saw it, but I had my doubts about giving it to Budster so early. Still, he spends at least an hour a day watching birds and mimicking seagull’s cries whenever he sees so much as the silhouette of a bird in the sky, so it seemed a good interest to develop. Budster unwrapped his copy on Easter, and it has been his favorite since – ours, too!

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Let us first try to have a look at this book from Budster’s perspective. We will have to get smaller, which means that this book measuring 15 ½ x 11 inches will become even more impressive. It is pretty much half Budster’s size! The pages are sturdy and thick, making them easy for little hands to turn. There are a lot of contrasted black and white silhouettes, which would attract a baby, but for Budster they are flaps that he can lift and see colourful birds underneath. On other pages, he finds pop-ups of birds under cardboard wings or inside eggs. He enjoys opening the flaps and hearing the names of both new and familiar birds: seagull, cardinal, goldfinch, duck, flamingo, etc. They are often accompanied by interesting fact, as well; “a cardinal likes maple sap,” or “an ostrich is the fastest bird in the world.”

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The older Budster becomes, the more facts he will glean from the book. There are also plenty of games to play in the future – like “Guess who is hiding behind this silhouette!” or “Whose egg is that?” Cut flaps of paper offer the reader a bird puzzle to put together, and, while Budster has not shown interest in it just yet, that was the first thing my husband and I did. We also admired the stylish and anatomically correct illustrations and the overall engaging and unique mechanism of the book.

The book presents a lot of birds from all of the world, which makes it a passable first guide both for North Americans and Europeans. After studying this book, we would not miss a goldfinch or a cardinal when we go for a walk. And we would be sure to distinguish a barn owl from its cousins.

The series offers two more books: Out of Sight (mammals) and the recent The Open Ocean (ocean life).

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