Cover image for Have you heard the nesting bird?
Have you heard the nesting bird?
Gray, Rita, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 27 cm
"In this nonfiction picture book for young readers, we learn just why the mother nesting bird stays quiet and still while sitting on her eggs."--
Reading Level:
Age 4 and up.

Grades K to 3.

Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



Woodpecker calls from a tree, "cuk-cuk-cuk." Starling sings, "whistle-ee-wee." But have you heard the nesting bird?

In this book, we hear all the different bird calls in counterpoint to the pervasive quiet of a mama bird waiting for her eggs to hatch. Fun and informative back matter takes the shape of an interview so that readers learn more right from the bird's bill. Ken Pak's lively illustrations, paired with Rita Gray's words, render a visual and sonorous picture book to be enjoyed by young naturalists.

Author Notes

Rita Gray is the author of several acclaimed picture books for children. Raised in Southern California, she studied psychology and social work in New York City, where she lives today with her family.  Visit her website at . Ken Pak  has worked at both Dreamworks Animation and Walt Disney Feature Animation. He lives in San Francisco. Visit his website at .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Throughout the day, as a boy and a girl walk in fields near their house, they see many birds and hear their distinctive calls. But a quiet bird captures the children's attention. Sitting in her nest in a tree, the robin is alert but silent. The next morning, the duo hears sounds from the nest, beginning with tapping cracking and ending with breaking shaking. Three baby birds join the robin and her mate in the nest. The appended A Word with the Bird section, cleverly written as a Q&A with the robin, offers a short, highly readable account of life in the nest before and after the eggs hatch. Included is an explanation of why the nesting bird is quiet: I don't want other animals to know I am hiding eggs. They might eat them! The pleasing text is well constructed, with rhythm and rhyme altered in different types of stanzas, and distinctive birdsongs included in the verse. In his picture-book debut, Pak's collage-style artwork is distinctive, dynamic, and rewarding to look at again and again. Retro in style, the watercolor-and-digital-media illustrations make good use of varied perspectives, layouts, and lighting effects. A beautifully crafted, informative picture book.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Layering delicate leaves and branches in green-browns, gold-greens, and touches of scarlet, newcomer Pak gives Gray's (One Big Rain) story about nesting robins a quiet, measured dynamism. The restraint of the artwork dovetails nicely with the story's themes: caretaking, which is what the nesting robin is doing, and observation, which is what a human boy and girl are doing. The two talk about the birds they see, some of which are voicing their characteristic calls ("Sparrow makes a simple jingle./ chiddik, chiddik/ Swallow slides from under a shingle./ ha-ha-chit-chit-chit"). One bird, though, is mysteriously silent. " 'Not a single tweet or trill.'/ 'This nesting bird is so still!' " The secret to the robin's long stay on her nest is revealed as a dialogue between the sounds coming from the nest ("Tapping Cracking") and the children's observations ("The bird is starting to move around!"). It's a fine first book about watching living beings in the wild, and it also serves as a beginning birders' guide, identifying the features and cries of common backyard birds. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Mar.)? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-A boy and girl on a neighborhood walk encounter many birds singing and calling. Short rhyming verses capture the essence of these backyard birds, e.g., "Cardinal wears a pointy hat. 'cheer-cheer-cheer-purdy-purdy-purdy'/Chickadee is an acrobat. 'chick-a-dee-dee-dee.'" The children wonder why the robin nesting in the tree next to their house is silent, until the day when cheeping, peeping follow the tapping, cracking sounds of the eggs hatching. Soft watercolor and collagelike digital art beautifully impart a springtime feeling to the spreads. Following the poem-story is a two-page mock "interview" with the mother bird, which serves as a useful explanation of nesting behaviors. This lovely introduction to common neighborhood birds also includes some less familiar varieties, such as the wood thrush and the whip-poor-will.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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