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It is unnecessary to urge young people to read more and understand the importance of reading because, given the chance... More
Summary: Louis was outside playing when, in the midst of a project, the sky went dark (and got very noisy). As he looked up, he saw hundreds of birds, each carrying a word on their neck, but none of them making sense. So he set off on an adventure to find out what was happening. This rhyming fantasy is an adventure to discover how words do (or can) work together.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Age of Child: Started reading with 5½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child loved exploring the words (pointing them out and asking what they spelled) and touching the pages. The illustrations have just enough texture to draw your hand out to touch them. Then we had to read it again!
Adult Reader Reaction: This is interactive reading. The rhyming story is fun (and not really predictable the first time through). Louis' own use of words complements the birds' activities quite well.
Pros: The story moves quickly and the illustrations are most engaging. The birds offer ways to introduce sight words in a flash-card type format. There are allegories and other literary tools that adults will find engaging, as well.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This book reads like a Seuss-like classic. It is fun and fanciful, and worth the time to read. But it may not be one that your kids will read for years to come (unless you start reading it when they are toddlers).
Educational Themes: The story can easily inspire the imaginative use of words (a la Dr. Seuss) or be a lesson in sentence structure. For young readers, the book is filled with lots of sight words, within the poem and as flash cards, which can help new readers.