Beautiful Birds


Fly through the alphabet with feathered friends.

In Beautiful Birds, author Jean Roussen and illustrator Emmanuel Walker fly through the alphabet with dozens of feathered friends. It begins, of course, with “A is for albatross, the admiral of the skies,” and progresses all the way to “Z is for zos-ter-o-pi-dae…” with sweet details about all kinds of avians in between.

The writing brims with clever rhymes and colorful words (ogling orbs, polychrome quills) making it delightful to read out loud. If I had to guess I’d say Roussen is a fan of E.B. White’s idea that “children are game for anything… They love words that give them a hard time, provided they are in a context that absorbs their attention.”

Walker’s vibrant illustrations give kids all the context they need. His graphic, full-bleed drawings feel like those of midcentury masters Saul Bass and Charlie Harper. Each page brings us into a bird’s life.

As an added bonus, the book’s design is also gorgeous. It’s bound in a neon salmon linen, with patterned endpapers to match. The neon color can be found on almost every page in varying doses, giving the optical effect of spying a ruffle of feathers in the wild.

This post also appeared on Wink Books, another wonderful source for great kids' media.

Find Beautiful Birds at your local library.