ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Sparrows

Foreword Review

Sparrows’ lives seem like one of ease as they flutter about with nothing to fear, spending their days eating and flying whenever and wherever they feel. Yet, from the time they are born, sparrows lead adventurous lives. Sparrows chronicles the life of these birds from birth to when they lay their own eggs, including daily dangers.

The mother sparrow nurtures her chicks and prepares them for independence in a big world. Each page provides nuggets of information for readers and illustrations that vividly coincide with these facts. Young readers find out about the various places that sparrows find food, including dog poop. It is interesting to watch the sparrows from the time of their births to the time when they have babies of their own.

Sparrows, originally published in the Netherlands as Mus, is the English version of Hans Post’s 2006 book. Post, a former educator at the Rotterdam Zoo, has written a number of books, including the critically acclaimed Creepy Crawlies. Biologist Kees Heij specializes in House Sparrows and has been on a number of expeditions studying birds. Illustrator Irene Goede collaborated with Post on Creepy Crawlies. She continues to illustrate and lives in the Netherlands.

The writing style is easy for children to comprehend; at the same time, they receive educational information. Parents and teachers can use this book as an instructional tool for elementary school children. The illustrations are clear, such as the picture of the mother bird laying eggs, and adults should prepare to answer questions that young ones may have. One drawback is that the sentence structure has a lecture feel to it. This may be because the essence of a book is often lost when it is translated from another language. Overall, Sparrows ignites a love of bird watching into children.