Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

ISBN 9780763693008

Regular price $11.99

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Author/ Illustrator: Annette LeBlanc Cate

This conversational, humorous introduction to bird-watching encourages kids to get outdoors with a sketchbook and really look around. Quirky full-color illustrations portray dozens of birds chatting about their distinctive characteristics, including color, shape, plumage, and beak and foot types, while tongue-in-cheek cartoons feature banter between birds, characters, and the reader (“Here I am, the noble spruce grouse. In a spruce grove. Eatin’ some spruce. Yep.”). Interactive and enjoyable tips bring an age-old hobby to new life for the next generation of bird-watchers.

Back matter includes a bibliography, an index, and bird-watching tips.

A 2014 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

You don’t have to own binoculars and know a bunch of fancy Latin names to watch birds! No matter where you live, they’re in your neighborhood — just look up.

Nest Notes:  We really like this book for 8 years and up.  The actual physical publication, with the paper, inks, and colours was all done so well, and it does justice to the beautiful illustrations and layout.  This book combines the aesthetic with the deliciously, excitingly informative.  It gets us feeling positively in the mood for bird-watching, not just as a one-time event, but as part of our general consciousness!  A true gem of a work!

64 pages.

9 1/16" x 7 7/16"

Published by Candlewick Press.


Awards & Nominations

1. Maine Student Book Award, Nominee
2. NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Children''''s Books in the Language Arts
3. 2014 PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing
4. Green Earth Book Award
5. Cybils Award, Non-Fiction Picture
6. ALA (American Library Association) Notable Children''''s Books
7. Capitol Choices List of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
8. Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal -- Honor Book
9. AAAS/Subaru Science Books and Films Prize for Excellence in Science Books
10. Horn Book Fanfare List
11. Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2013
12. Parents'''' Choice Awards Gold Award
13. Core Collections Star Title


In this amiable guidebook that encourages readers to observe and wonder about the birds around them, Cate presents plenty of relevant information while sharing her clear enthusiasm for the subject...This title will engage readers with its well-presented information spiced with visual and verbal humor.


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Cate supplements her instructive and encouraging remarks with cartoon-style illustrations that include plenty of additional speech-balloon commentary from the birds themselves. Not everyone can pull off the kibitzing-animal shtick, but the avian chorus is genuinely funny, and their banter goes a long way toward driving the lessons home.

Library Media Connection
If readers approach the subject the way Cate approaches it, bird-watching can be a fun activity for artists of any age.


Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An array of talkative cartoon birds bring energy and humor to this small-format guide to bird-watching...Cate’s informal hobbyist tone and all-around enthusiasm is infectious, as she emphasizes that bird-watching is as much about being aware of one’s environment as it is about identifying specific birds.


School Library Journal (starred review)
With its emphasis on looking at the birds near home–from suburbs to inner cities–this invitation to bird-watching is an engaging addition to any collection...Lots of fun–and informative.


Newton's Book News
The book is full of interesting information and is laid-out in a kid-friendly fashion from the inside covers to the very end and you’ll be enriched with mounds of interesting information in a most entertaining way.


Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A chatty, appealing introduction to observing these easiest-to-see of all wild creatures...Small and accessible, this is jam-packed with accurate information likely to increase any potential birder’s enthusiasm and knowledge.


The Wall Street Journal
LOOK UP! BIRD-WATCHING IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD…a lively, informal guide for children ages 8 and older that is jammed with fun and colorful drawings. Annette LeBlanc Cate has arranged her information in a way that is immensely helpful to the amateur.


The Horn Book (starred review)
[Cate's] desire to share this passion with a new generation of nature enthusiasts shines through in this delightful and thoroughly detailed introduction to the hobby (some might say addiction) of birdwatching.


100 Scope Notes
Annette LeBlanc Cate mashes up nonfiction, a picture book, and a comic to create something fresh, engaging, and – this is the most impressive point – something that might inspire readers to pick up a notepad and look skyward. An excellent book for budding ornithologists and for those who have no idea what that means...Informative and entertaining, this is a book that I hope finds its way into the hands of a lot of young readers.


The Washington Post
The greatest part of this activity is that all you really need to do is what the title of this book says. Go outside and look up. ... This book — told with funny, bright, cartoon illustrations — is filled with amazing facts.