4 out of 4 stars
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One Quirky Bird, the Roadrunner by Kay Haynes Lottinger is an adorable and informational book for kids who want to know more about the quirky bird in question.
While out for a walk in the park their first day of summer vacation, Kelly and Velma see a funny-looking bird run by. They are instantly intrigued and want to know what it is. So, they head to the library to do some research, where they discover their new feathered friend is none other than the Greater Roadrunner. With this discovery comes a wealth of information about roadrunners, including appearance, habitat, nest, and so much more.
This book is perfectly constructed for young readers. The inclusion of Velma and Kelly make this more than just another reference guide. Kids can see other kids being excited about learning and looking stuff up. In this way, the book both educates about the roadrunner and shows kids that learning can be fun.
While this book is mainly for kids, it can be read by anyone. As an adult, I learned so much about the roadrunner, as well as some general animal stuff. I even came across some words I didn’t know. One of these was zygodactyl—when the foot has four toes, two pointing forward and two backward. I thought this was neat, and the author handled the introduction of this big word beautifully. She explained it in a way kids would understand and went on to show how the zygodactyl toes help the roadrunner.
Though this book is short, Velma and Kelly stand out as characters. In particular, I love when they go to the library. While Velma prefers to work on the computer, Kelly likes physical books. This felt like such an important distinction. It shows young readers that there’s no right or wrong way to learn. Each person does what works for them. Later, Velma looks at one of Kelly’s books, introducing the idea that one can learn in multiple ways. These are vitally important lessons for kids just learning how to do research. Furthermore, in today’s digital society, it was so nice to see Kelly interested in actual books.
This book was very well-edited. I noticed only two mistakes. For a fun and informative story that was easy to read, I rate One Quirky Bird, the Roadrunner 4 out of 4 stars. I never really considered giving it less. As I said above, this book could be enjoyed by anyone. Not only is the text informative, but there are pictures (done by high school students) throughout. The book ends with a list of websites and books with more information about the roadrunner, so both the Velmas and Kellys of the world can learn more if they so desire.
One Quirky Bird, the Roadrunner
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