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Annotation: Two robins build a nest together and raise their chicks, navigating a year of changing seasons and serpentine predators.
Catalog Number: #209263
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-288592-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7412-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-288592-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7412-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2019000075
Dimensions: 23 x 26 cm
Language: English
Horn Book
Every spring, across North America, robins mate, build nests, lay eggs, and nurture their young. Cole illustrates this sequence of events with a pair of robins, employing gentle black-and-white crosshatching and one dramatic pop of color: the signature deep robin's-egg blue of the eggs, which is echoed in a soft wash in several scenes. Uncomplicated language describes the nesting process, while illustrations both mirror and extend the text. For example, a single page shows four distinct views of the female on her nest, indicating the passage of time. "She keeps the eggs warm. She is patient. Inside each egg, a baby bird is growing." On one double-page spread, twelve panels show both parents leaving the nest to search for food and returning with their bounty, reinforcing the consistency of the routine. Far from placid, the robins' lives are full of danger. A fierce storm and a predatory snake underscore the fragility of their lives and add drama to the otherwise quiet narrative. The solidly scientific account comes full circle as the baby birds learn to fly and begin to prepare for winter.
Publishers Weekly
Like proverbial spring, this story begins with a song: -From the branch of an apple tree, a robin starts to sing.- Two robins meet and begin to build a nest. Eliding reproductive mechanics, Cole-s detailed story follows the birds as eggs are laid and hatch, and as the parents work to feed the chicks and keep them safe in a world of dangers, including dramatic scenes of a thunderstorm and a hungry snake (-The robins fight back! They dive and swoop!-). The chicks grow: they fill the nest, then drop, -one by one,- to the ground below. The book closes with the poignant image of the abandoned nest, filled with snow. Cole-s fine-line drawings-black-and-white, with occasional washes of robin-s-egg blue-use short, agitated lines and layered hatching to richly render the birds- world. A brief author-s note offers additional information about robin nesting habits. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 3 A robin heralds the arrival of spring with a mating song from an apple tree. A female hears him and together they gather twigs and leaves for a nest. Soon there is a lovely blue egg, then three more. She keeps them warm, sitting and waiting, and in about two weeks there are four blind, featherless hungry babies. Now the parents are busy feeding and protecting them. They each make many trips bringing juicy worms and caterpillars to the nest. One day, a snake slithers up the tree, threatening the little family. Mother and Father do what they can to drive the predator away. Relentlessly, they dive and swoop, dive and swoop until the snake falls to the ground. In a few weeks, the babies fill the nest, feathered and grown. Now they can look for their own food. Cole's nature sketches reveal a keen eye and hand; the birds are shown from different angles up close and from afar. The artwork is done with a black micron pen with an occasional blue acrylic wash for sky or eggs. VERDICT A stellar offering. Nature lovers of all ages will enjoy this beautiful, informative book. Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* A male robin's song drifts through the spring air, attracting the attention of a female. As a pair, they find the perfect tree in which to build their nest, where the female lays four eggs, naturally rendered in robin egg blue e book's only color. For the majority of the illustrations, Cole uses black Micron pen to line and crosshatch scenes of incredible detail and beauty, filling full- and double-page spreads with the robin parents' activities and that of their growing babies. Drama blows through in the form of a storm and, later, a hungry snake, but the family makes it safely through both scenarios. Finally, the babies grow big enough to fly and feed themselves, fattening up for the arrival of winter. Though considered fiction, everything in this story is true to nature, which is unsurprising considering Cole's past as a science teacher. He uses limited but smoothly written text to describe a year in these robins' lives, appending a page of robin facts to the end of the story. The arresting artwork is large enough to share in a group setting, but youngsters will also want to pore over its many details. This would make a lovely companion to Rita Gray's Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? (2014) or Kevin Henkes' When Spring Comes (2016).
Word Count: 332
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 510025 / grade: Lower Grades

Award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole soars to new heights in this stunning picture book about robins: their homes, their lives, and their families. In this black-and-white picture book highlighted with robin's egg blue, the reader will follow two robins as they build a nest with twigs and grass. Then mother robin lays four beautiful blue eggs and will keep the eggs warm in the nest until they hatch into four baby robins. The father robin protects the babies until they can fly on their own. The perils the babies encounter are many, including snakes and storms. The nest is always their safe place. Nesting provides introductory biology and animal science concepts for very young children, and also makes a spectacular springtime gift. Award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole has re-created the life story of the robin with simple text and stunning artwork. Nesting is the perfect primer for young bird-watchers and nature lovers. The beautiful, intricate black-and-white illustrations are illuminated with lovely washes of blue that breathe life into the artwork.

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