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02 August 2010 @ 10:26 am
2 Book reviews  
I have two very different reviews today. One is for a scifi/horror novel, "Feed" by Mira Grant, and one is an alphabet book for children, "B is for Bufflehead by Steve Hutchraft.

The review for "Feed" is one that I did for The Falcata Times, you can see it at http://falcatatimes.blogspot.com/search/label/Bea%20Connors

“B is for Bufflehead” photographs and text by Steve Hutchcraft.

Book blurb: Take a flight through the ABC's with a flock of fun feathered friends. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Blue-footed Boobies, loons, cuckoos, and many other fascinating birds introduce little ones to the alphabet. Eye-catching and humorous photographs combine with fun facts to entertain and educate inquisitive young minds about the wonderful world of birds.

Review: “B is for Bufflehead” is an entertaining look at birds. The author, who also took the photographs, manages to write text that doesn't talk down to it's readers while being appropriate for a wide range of young readers. The photographs are colorful and engaging, and the page artwork is color-keyed to each picture. So, if the predominant color in the photo is blue, then the page background is a matching shade.

The layout allows for a range of abilities and ages. The first portion is your typical alphabet book layout of a picture, some text, and and the letter plus a word that it starts with. These pages are simple enough to engage and hold the younger readers while the second portion has a section containing an identification game, and additional facts about the birds in the book which older readers will find interesting.

The artwork in this book is very well done and one of the books strong points. Another strength is the subjects of the pictures themselves. Each letter is represented by at least two different species of birds and many of the birds will be new to the readers. Hutchcraft mixes familiar and unfamiliar birds, making sure that each one has something unusual or interesting about it. In his own words, “The showcased birds have a mix of fun names, fascinating personalities, and unique behaviors.”

The alphabet portion of the book, however, is weak. Hutchcraft is so focused on the birds that connecting them to the alphabet is only given cursory attention. The focus letter of each page is only highlighted once and only in it's uppercase form. Despite this, it does work as an alphabet book and it definitely works as an introduction to birds.

Publisher: PhotoHutch Press

Age Range: pre-school through third grade

This book was received as a free galley from netGalley.com