Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Nicola Davies
Illustrator: Jane Ray
Publisher: Candlewick Press
In a garden, a tiny bird appears, hovering above a flower. In a flash, it disappears. That was a hummingbird. These tiny birds fascinate bird watchers of all ages. Nicola Davies’ charming picture book follows the migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds from South and Central America to New York City. Along the way, the hummingbirds meet many people: a grandmother and granddaughter, a pair of sisters, a sailor, and others. Each admires the tiny birds, in awe of their size and flying. Jane Ray’s realistic yet magical illustrations bring the birds to life.
Nonfiction books for young readers can be hard to find. It’s necessary to get the right combination of facts without overwhelming the reader. This book is perfect: Facts are written in smaller print below the narrative. A map shows the birds’ migration path. An additional page provides more information, and there is also a bibliography and an index. The book demonstrates what nonfiction should include. The characters make it read like fiction, yet the facts establish truth.