For my son’s birthday this year, we expanded his book collection by quite a few new books. My husband and I gifted him some new books about birds because my son has been showing a keen interest in observing birds. I wanted to give you all a look at the books we chose and explain why. Before I do, I should say that we have multiple small bookshelves in our home rather than one large one. We also rotate books on a regular basis and have only a selection out at one time. The bookshelf shown in this post is the one in our playroom and it is usually themed. We have a slightly larger one in our living room with random books that my son likes. Lastly, we have a small one in the bedroom with good night books.
Here is our bird-themed bookshelf:
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Starting from the top and working down:
This cute book is maybe not so Montessori aligned. It does feature talking birds, which definitely fall strongly into the fantasy category and usually, this type of fantasy is discouraged for kids under 6 years old. I got this book used when I purchased an entire collection of books from someone who was moving. I leave it on my son’s shelf for two reasons: the drawings are adorable and the concept is nice. I am not as strict with books as I am with materials and toys. In the book, Peter’s mom sends a message down the telephone line to tell him to come home for dinner. But the message gets warped as each bird hears it in the context of their specific hobbies and changes it when they pass it on. By the time Peter gets the message, he doesn’t know what to do with it! For older children, it might be a good introduction to the telephone game, which works much in the same way.
- Wildvögel am Futterplatz
Real photos and factual information about birds make this a great book. It is very text-heavy, but for my son, I mostly read (and translate) bits and pieces and we talk about the pictures. It has information about what foods to offer at your bird feeder, what types of birds could visit, what dangers there are for the birds at your feeder, and what other animals might try to eat your birdseed. It also goes into details about bird’s beaks and migrating birds. I am sure that this book will serve us for years to come! The authors’ have an entire series with real photos and factual information about a variety of topics related to nature.
- Ein Jahr mit den Spatzen
I purchased this book because sparrows are the birds we see most often while out and about in the city. They live in the bushes in our courtyard, on the local playground, and in the bushes along the sidewalk. They are often on the ground or at eye level when my son is walking or in his stroller. This book tells a story of a year in the life of a sparrow. It starts with the male bird finding a nesting spot and a mate. Then they build a nest and have baby birds. The baby birds fly out of the nest and live their life through the summer, fall and winter, until next spring, a new male bird is looking for a nesting spot. The story is detailed, factually correct, and still easy for even young children to understand. I translate the book as I read it and my husband reads it in German. I might add English text underneath the Geman since the text is shorter than most informational books and reads more like a story. Also, the illustrations are very realistic but quite beautiful all the same. There are also a few other books in this series, all about a year in the life of a certain type of bird.
- A Day with Harriet and Harriet’s Next Adventure
These books are particularly special to us as they were a gift for my son’s 1st Christmas from my parents. They are about a specific bald eagle, Harriet, who lives in Florida, USA. Harriet and her mate are online for anyone to watch as there is a webcam installed and pointed at their nesting spot. My mom watches Harriet and her mate each year as they lay eggs and hatch new eaglets. We tune in here at home on occasion, but I am sure my son will be more interested in watching them as he gets older. The first book shows a day in Harriet’s life and the second book details her life with two eaglets and shows how she and her mate care for them. The illustrations are realistic and the text has a nice rhyme pattern. You can watch Harriet here (currently, Harriet and her mate have two thriving eaglets) but I have not found a European source for the books. If you are in the US, you can buy them here.
- Vögel in unserem Garten
This book is also quite text-heavy, but the real pictures and the accurate recordings of bird calls drew me to purchase it anyways. A big bonus is also the board book style, with thick pages that my son can’t easily rip. I say the names of the birds in English when I read it (I will admit I had to google a few I hadn’t heard of before) and we listen to their call. My husband reads a bit more of the text since he speaks German with my son. So far, the buttons to make the bird calls have been a big hit!
- Baby’s First Book of Birds and Colors
I have been eyeing this book since my son started showing a strong interest in colors about 6 months ago. Each page showcases two birds that are the same color and a plant or tree with that color. The text is simple, but the birds aren’t ones that we see on a daily basis where we live. The illustrations are very realistic and also beautiful at the same time. My son is still going strong on his color interest and now he likes to name the colors and find matching objects in those colors when we read this book.