About Hummingbirds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill and illustrated by John Sill is part of the “About” series of picture books which includes About Amphibians, About Arachnids, About Birds, About Crustaceans, About Penguins and many, many more non-fiction books “about” nature published by Peachtree publishers.
The sentences in About Hummingbirds are simple although the vocabulary is not simplified. The illustrations are very Audobon-esque with blurred backgrounds or simple white backgrounds. Many of the lovely illustrations depict the hummingbird in its habitat.
This is not a picture book for a baby. Rather, it is a picture book for a child aged three and older who is interested in birds and might be able to understand or learn some of the vocabulary like “habitats” and “predator.”
The book ends with the simple thought, “It is important to protect hummingbirds and the places where they live.” A wonderful sentiment, but one might wish that the author had provided more information about why it’s very important to protect the hummingbirds and how the readers might help.
At the end of the book are pages which detail each illustration from the text with more detailed information about the specific type of hummingbird depicted in the illustration, its habitat, and more information about that hummingbird.
For the last illustration, some brief information is included about how many flowers depend on hummingbirds for pollination and that the habitat of many types of hummingbirds is being destroyed because of ranches, farms and for charcoal production.
Children are fascinated by tiny creatures and hummingbirds are no exception. They will enjoy seeing the huge variety of hummingbirds depicted in the illustrations and learning about the birds and how they live, fly (they are the only birds that can fly upside down and backwards), and migrate.
This book would be a marvelous addition to any home or classroom library. Its format almost calls out for teachers to use it with older students. They could study the detailed information at the end of the book and read the simple information at the beginning of the book to younger students. There’s truly something for everyone here.
This book was reviewed from a final hardcover edition provided by the publisher.