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.
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!
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.”
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.