Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Restless Robin

Our nature study topic for this month is birds. Everytime we begin to study a new topic, one of the first things I do is load up our shelves with books about that topic. First I go through our own bookshelves and pull out all of the books that we own about our topic ~ I like to include fiction and non-fiction, picture books and chapter books.

Once I scour our shelves, I go onto our library's online catalog and do a basic search for children's books about our topic. I quickly glance over the book descriptions and choose about 15-20 to reserve. These get added to our library book basket and I read them to the kids throughout the month.

Yesterday my daughter's read-aloud choice was The Restless Robin by Marjorie Flack. This book was originally published in 1937 ~ and it's definitely a keeper.

It begins with Mr. Cock Robin leaving his winter home in the State of Georgia to head north for the spring. Mr. Robin travels through South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Maryland, and on until he finally reaches his intended destination in the State of New Hampshire. We are able to follow Mr. Robin's travels on a map included in the illustrations ~ my kids especially loved it when Mr. Robin passed through our home state of Maryland :)

Once he reaches his destination, he considers many different trees before deciding where to settle down. After choosing his home, he waits for Mrs. Robin to return ~ and once she does they build their nest. Mrs. Robin soon has a nest full of eggs and the story continues as their babies hatch and grow. I really appreciate how the author weaves a charming little story while sharing many facts about birds and their habits.

Our favorite part of the book is at the end when the little boy robin "Buffy" (who cannot fly yet), is stuck in a lilac bush awaiting rescue - he is "peep peeping" very loudly, calling for help, when other birds respond to his cries with their own unique bird calls: an Oriole and then a Chickadee begin to chatter, followed by a Thrasher, a Peabody bird, a Black-throated Green Warbler, a Bluebird, a Song Sparrow, a Flicker and finally a Meadowlark. They all sing their songs to the scared little robin ~ and the best part is that the words and the music of each of their songs is included in the illustrations (now if only I could read music :0)

This book has been a wonderful addition to our bird study and one that I definitely would love to add to our home library. However, it might take a bit of searching to find a copy because it appears that it is out of print :(



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