Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bird Books from TOON Books

TOON Books is one of the more clever publishers of children's books. The reason for this is because they have unique authors and artists and present their books in comic form. Now, not all people like reading a book with this type of graphic style, but to those who do, you'll be hard pressed to find a better publisher for children. Today, I'm looking at three of their "bird books." Each book is a 9" x 6" hardcover, which is an unusual shape on the bookshelf, but definitely stands out.
Birdsong is an unusual book inspired by the Japanese art of Kamishibai. For those unfamiliar with this form of theater, like me, there is an explanation in the back of the book. Basically, it is a series of pictures with no text, and the person with the pictures can tell whatever story they want to with these pictures. Within this book, we see two mean and cruel children who are cruel to animals. They injure a bird and continue to chase it after its injury. During their pursuit, they are transformed into monkeys and must now live a much harder life. This is an interesting book that gives your child free reign to tell their own story and let their creativity soar. However, the pictures also give us a warning on treating nature and animals with respect.
The Real Poop on Pigeons gives us a brief overview and history on pigeons, or what most people call them "rats with wings." This includes such facts as pigeons being the first airmail and being able to fly faster than a car and race without stopping. We are also given a detailed anatomy of this bird, as well as the different varieties of pigeons. I didn't know there were so many due to breeding. There is also a brief section that discusses Pablo Picasso's fascination with this unusual bird. As someone who can't really stand these birds, it was an interesting read that showed how beautiful and useful these birds can be. Your kids will love it because it has "poop" in the title and it also has funny illustrations.
A Goofy Guide to Penguins is a tongue-in-cheek book that explains everything you ever wanted to know about penguins and more. It tells how they look the same far away but not close up, why they like to stand up, and how they stay out of the wind. It also talks about how and why they catch fish, and also how they excel at swimming but not at flight. The book has hilarious illustrations that my son enjoyed, because it was taking common facts about penguins and putting a funny twist on them. We see fish showering on top of whales, using a space heater, and diving off a diving board. At the end of the book is a couple of actual facts on penguins to supplement the less than factual nature of the main book. Highly enjoyable book for kids.

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