Project Description

Bird Count
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Teacher’s Guide
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Bird Count

by Susan Edwards Richmond
illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman

A young girl eagerly identifies and counts the birds she observes around her town during the New England Christmas Bird Count.

Young Ava and her mother prepare to participate as “citizen scientists” in the Christmas Bird Count. She is excited when Big Al, the leader of their team, asks her to record the tally this year. Using her most important tools—her eyes and ears—and the birding ID techniques she’s learned, Ava eagerly identifies and counts the birds they observe on their assigned route around the town. At the end of the day, they meet up with the other teams in the area for a Christmas Bird Count party, where they combine their totals and share stories about their observations.

This informative story by author Susan Edwards Richmond, coupled with Stephanie Fizer Coleman’s charming depictions of birds in their winter habitats, is the perfect book to introduce young readers to birdwatching. The text offers simple explanations of the identification methods used by birdwatchers and clear descriptions of bird habitats, and a section in the back provides more information about the birds featured in the book and the Christmas Bird Count.

Visit the author’s website for additional educator resources and activity plans.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-954-4
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-3/8″ x 9-3/8″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
F&P: M, Gr 2, Genre RF
Lexile: 550L
Themes: Birds, Bird Watching, Neighbors
BISAC 1: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION/Social Themes/Friendship
BISAC 2: JUV029010 JUVENILE FICTION / Nature & the Natural World / Environment
BISAC 3: JUV030060 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / General

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“Clever design… Count guidelines are smoothly worked into Richmond’s narrative… An engaging, informative introduction. ” —Kirkus Reviews

“An instructive and attractive picture book for aspiring ornithologists and young nature aficionados.” —Publishers Weekly

“Soft, detailed illustrations bring the winter world to life, depict many bird species, and capture the sounds and feelings of a chilly winter day. Readers will love searching for birds along with Ava and her companions…. This book introduces elementary school readers to the world of birds and citizen science in an accessible, ­welcoming way.” —School Library Journal

“A wonderful introduction to bird-watching and the concept of observing nature… Parents be warned: this book is so appealing that, come next December, you may find yourself out in the cold, counting birds.” —Booklist Online

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“This charming and handsomely illustrated story…is accurate in detail, and it wonderfully captures a young person’s enthusiasm.” —Wayne R. Petersen, Director of Massachusetts Important Bird Area (IBA) Program

“Great book on citizen scientists.  A must read and should be in all public and elementary school libraries.”—Terry Young, retired librarian and former judge for the AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Films Prize for Excellence in Science Books

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Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens —Capitol Choices, 2020

Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award—Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2019

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Meet the Author

Susan Edwards Richmond

Susan Edwards Richmond teaches preschool on a farm and wildlife sanctuary in eastern Massachusetts. She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis, and is the author of five collections of nature-based poetry for adults. She is happiest exploring natural habitats with her husband and two daughters, and learns the native birds wherever she travels. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Stephanie Fizer Coleman is an illustrator and freelance designer. She has created the art for many children’s books and loves drawing animals. For her 100 Days project in 2018, she drew one hundred birds, one day at a time. You can visit her website here.