We all know “B” can be for “bird” in alphabet books but B is for Bufflehead offers children a new look at feathered friends and the alphabet. With gorgeous full-color photos and bright appealing text, this picture book shares birds, birds, and more birds. Forget the typical birds like pigeons or flamingos, B is for Bufflehead eatures birds I’d never heard of, like the Ibis or Grebe. I have to admit, this book taught me something. I thought the grebe was a fictional bird when I saw it in an episode of the PBS show Arthur (yes, seriously!) wherein the kids try to spot a Green-Tailed Grebe.
The text is large and brightly-colored to attract a child’s eye, and the photos take up most of the pages. There’s two birds for each letter of the alphabet, and each picture features a caption written from the bird’s point of view. It’s a cute way to present facts and kids will quickly take to it.
I am a Common Loon, and I am the national Bird of Canada. Even though my picture is on the back of Canadian Dollar, I may be better known for my haunting, yet beautiful cries that echo across the water. Danger lurks everywhere for our babies, so they often ride on our backs for protection.
Author Steve Hutchcraft has a great eye for capturing birds in their habitat. The back pages of book feature his story behind each photo. His website
states he created B is for Bufflehead
as a way to share nature with his young daughter. With kid-friendly activities like a Who’s Who Challenge, and in-depth “fun feathered facts,” B is for Bufflehead is a great resource for young nature lovers. The book’s core strength is the vivid photographs, unlike any I’ve ever seen in a junior nature book.
They make B is for Bufflehead
a must-read for nature lovers..or for the very young, a must-look.
Copy for review provided by the publisher, Photohutch.
Title: B is for Bufflehead
Author: Steve Hutchcraft
Date: November 2009
When participating in a storytime session, as I now do weekly, I like to choose picture books with bright images and related to nature, as the sessions are held in a children’s museum with a strong ecological emphasis. I chose Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies for last week’s story, because here in Florida, we are quite familiar with sharks. But a reader is in for a – you-guessed-it! surprise with this book as it shares the wonders and intrigue of sharks in easy-to-read text and appealing pictures.
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by James Croft, the work is a science text, storybook and environmental lesson all-in-one. Davies doesn’t shy around the fact sharks are killers and humans are sometimes their prey but instead, turns this into a lesson about how we can educate ourselves about sharks. Any words too terrifying for little ones, such as “killer” or “bone-crunching” can easily be skipped.
The pages’ fonts vary in size, and the illustrations are bright and colorful, making it extremely attractive to children. The overall effect is fun and light, not scary. The facts contained within are interesting, with charts of shark anatomy and tidbits about not-so-common sharks, like the Wobbegong, whose mottled skin resembles a carpet on the sea floor. Also detailed is how sharks are born, their feeding habits, and humans use sharks in every day products.
Title: Surprising Sharks