Review of Warbler Wave

Warbler Wave
by April Pulley Sayre with Jeff Sayre; photos by April Pulley Sayre
Preschool, Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp.    g
2/18    978-1-4814-4829-1    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4830-7    $10.99

From the author of Woodpecker Wham! (rev. 5/15) comes another science picture book featuring spectacular photographs and spare, precise text, this time focusing on the migrating group of tiny birds called warblers. Oversize pages first show the expanse of sky and land over which warblers fly and the buildings around which they must navigate; our view then zooms in on one jewel of a bird that has come to rest in a tree. The poetic text mirrors the flight patterns of the birds: very short rhyming lines (“They search. Stalk. / Wag. Walk”) are contained inside the one long poem that makes up the narrative. The lilting text helps draw readers beyond the prettiness of the photographs into more closely observing what the birds are doing in each photo as they search for food, and the pictures catch the birds at moments like “gleaning” something from a twig, or dining on a moth. The pages are skillfully laid out to guide the eye and are spacious enough to highlight the variety of colors, stripes, and other markings on the birds. Short and focused enough for a preschool storytime, this also includes dense pages of additional information, as well as a link to a website that identifies in detail each of the birds photographed.

From the March/April 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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