Beautiful Birds – Fly from A to Z with dozens of feathered friends

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Beautiful Birds

by Jean Roussen (author) and Emmanuel Walker (illustrator)

Flying Eye Books

2015, 56 pages, 8.9 x 12.2 x 0.4 inches

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

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 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 mid-century masters Saul Bass and Charlie Harper. 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.

– Sara Distin at Tinybob