Birds of a Feather: 12/06/13
We recently made our second trip to Portland, Oregon. As a family of bibliophiles, it's impossible to go there and not visit Powell's City of Books. Although that location takes up an entire block and multiple levels, the two times we've been there, we've spent our entire time in the Rose Room. That's where Powell's puts its children's books. With two children and two adults who enjoy tween and YA fiction, it's a natural location to haunt.
The last time we were there (2008), neither child was old enough to be left to his or her own devices. That meant our chances of truly exploring the Rose Room where rather limited. Powell's, though large, is also VERY crowded. With an infant just learning how to walk and a kid not quite in kindergarten, made for some hair raising moments.
This time, though, the kids are second and sixth graders. So while trading off on who watched the second grader, we had a chance to scour. The result of us heading off in four directions, meant we came home with a suitcase worth of books.
One of the gems my daughter (the second grader) found was a Chronicle Books import, Birds of a Feather (2012) by Francisco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais. It was originally published in France as Oxiseau.
The book is a massive folio with a delightful mixture of lift-the-flap interactions. Each section teaches children about a different avian aspect — like body types, eggs, silhouettes, and so forth. One section has a mix and match, where you can either build the correct birds listed, or make something new. As the pictures come pre-scrambled, you have to work to get the correct birds sorted.
Although the book is short in over all terms of text and page count, it's still a gorgeous and delightful read. There is a companion book, Out of Sight (originally published as Axinanmu).