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The Birdwatchers
Simon James
Picture book
Ages 4 to 7
Candlewick Press, 2002, 0-7636-1676-1
  Jess is used to hearing her granddad telling her how much he enjoys birdwatching. “Birds are amazing” he says and he describes all kinds of wonderful adventures that he has when he out in the woods and down by the pond. Jess is not convinced however and she decides that the only way that she is going to get a real feeling for what this whole birdwatching lark is about is for her to go with him.
  At first Jess and her granddad don’t see a thing – not one single birds flies into view. Then granddad takes Jess to his birdwatching hut and suddenly Jess gets to have a front seat view of a whole world full of birds of all kinds.
  The perfect day ends with Jess turning the tables on her granddad. Now she has a rather peculiar birdwatching story of her own to tell the old man, one which certainly rivals the ones he has told her in the past.
  In this evocative picture book Simon James not only captures the excitement that a little girl feels on her first birdwatching expedition, but he also shows us how close Jess and her granddad are and he pokes gentle fun at the ‘tall stories’ that are beloved of outdoor hobbyists of all ages.
 Almost impressionistic paintings give the reader a sense of light, shadow and movement and make the birdwatching landscape come alive.

The birdwatchers


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