Title: Hooray for Birds!
Author and Illustrator: Lucy Cousins
Publisher: Walker Books in Australia, Candlewick Press.
RRP: $24.99

Hooray for birds? Hooray for Lucy Cousins! This bright, large format book with bold, colourful pictures and interactive text is perfect for a young audience. The verbal text begins with “Can you imagine… just for one day…you’re a busy bird? Yes, a bird! Hooray!”, instantly inviting the audience to take part in the reading. Viewers are encouraged to delve further into the book with the bird on the right hand page facing to the right, encouraging the page to be turned. The audience is then taken through an array of various birds, their sounds, movements and habitats. The narrative follows the course of a day, beginning with a rooster rising and finishing with an owl. This works beautifully with the beginning and ending of the narrative. There is a swan, a starling, a woodpecker, and many more. All the while the audience is invited to join in with the noises and movements. The thick black font, hand lettered by Lucy Cousins, is a vivid contrast with the bold and colourful gouache illustrations. The end papers, full of the birds from the book, differ. In the front end papers the birds are awake with a green background, while the back end papers show the birds asleep against a blue background.

This is such a wonderful book. It ticks all the boxes for story time perfection: entertaining and fun to read, bright pictures that span the entire page with no borders, text that invites interaction and movement, endless possibilities for post-reading activities, introduction to the concept of the beginning and ending of a story, differing end pages enabling early introduction to book construction and peritext features. For all these reasons, it is also an essential resource for early literacy activities in pre-schools and lower primary classes.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Young children need books like this to connect them with reading and develop their love of books from an early age. Brilliant!

Thank you to Walker Books for supplying this book for review.

Activity Suggestions:

  • Have the audience follow the actions while reading.
  • Discuss the parts of a book by looking at the end pages.
  • Make a mural of the birds featured in the book.
  • Make various 3D craft birds and hang from ceiling in classroom.
  • Go outside and look for birds. What are they doing? What noises do they make?
  • Discuss birds that are active at night and day, nocturnal and diurnal. Make a pictorial list for each type.
  • Look at the punctuation used in the book. Discuss the purpose of punctuation and what the various punctuation marks are called.

Online resources

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/resources/hooray-for-birds-learning-time

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/resources/hooray-for-birds-activity-time

 

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