Building Baby Birder’s Library: Part 2
My son, Noah, is of an age where he’s able to enjoy books a little more. We have books about all sort of things. Truck books and train books, animal books and dinosaur books, and we also have a small collection of bird books that I’ve been trying to collect more or less successfully (he’s actually more apt to flip through the field guides I usually have sitting on the coffee table). We had reached some sort of stagnation on the bird book front for some time while trains and trucks took precedence in his world*, but recently he’s been slowly coming back thanks to a recent book that was gifted to us from friends of his grandmother. It doesn’t have much of a plotline, but it does offer enough bells and whistles to keep a toddler interested.
*I’m trying to figure out a child’s toy that incorporates Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train and Elmo into some sort of seamless product without infringing on their copyrights. I will make a fortune.
Bird Calls offers eight species of common birds hidden behind pull flaps and assigned a colored button. The child pulls the tab revealing the bird, and presses the button at which time an only slightly mechanized version of the birds call or song will play. It’s only slightly annoying, though I say that as a parent who actively encourages his child to learn the songs of the birds within and presses the buttons as often as that will take to burn them into his brain. My wife may have a different opinion on the tinny, thin and more than a little loud bird songs. But who cares about all that? He’s learning!
Look! It’s a Robin!
The book is written by Frank Gallo and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter, who have collaborated on a series of similar pull-tab and button sound books. There is text, hidden under flaps for every page, and offering information on each of the featured species. We haven’t gotten to that yet, as it’s a little long and dry to hold a toddler’s famously flighty attention but older kids may find it interesting.
For now, though, the sounds and the tabs are all we need. And we’ve made some headway. We’ve got the Owl down pat and are big fans of the Chickadee and Cardinal as well. The sounds associated with those birds are close enough that he should be able to associate them with actual birds in our neighborhood, but I’ve seen no sign of that yet. Making the connection between the birds you see and the birds you hear is one that even older birders can have trouble with. We’ll keep working on it though.
Bird Calls is available at Amazon for a decent price. if you have young children, you might want to check it out.