Book review: The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
Early risers and insomniacs will be familiar with the sound'¦ the bird world in full song to greet a new day!
Now everyone aged from nought to ninety can enjoy the magnificent dawn chorus – one of the wonders of nature – but at a much more civilised hour in a beautifully produced and fact-filled book from innovative nature publisher Fine Feathers Press.
The high-flying publishing house was founded by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington and all their books are designed to inspire a love of nature in children from an early age.
The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus is another imaginative title from their popular sound book collection and is the perfect companion for bright spring mornings when the birds around us are in full throttle.
A side bar of high-quality sound buttons introduces readers to the recorded calls of twelve feathered stars of the amazing dawn chorus, from the familiar song of the blackbird to the redstart which looks like a snazzy robin, arrives in the UK in April and likes to stay hidden in the tops of woodland trees.
As the world of nature comes alive, we learn that birds sing in a specific order each morning and that those heard later on in the season are usually unpaired males.
First to sing is the skylark followed by the redstart, swallow, song thrush, robin, blackbird, yellowhammer, wren, chiffchaff, house sparrow, collared dove and starling.
This joyful book counts down the minutes to sunrise showing you which birds you can hear singing and what they are communicating to each other.
Discover how male starlings build untidy nests and then attract a female by singing from a nearby perch, and did you know that the tiny wren sings about 740 notes a minute?
The brightly coloured yellowhammer starts singing about 45 minutes before sunrise and his call famously sounds like ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese.’
The busy house sparrows bring hedgerows and bushes to life in the spring and summer with their constant chatter and from what poet Robert Browning called his ‘first fine careless rapture,’ the song thrush passes the day in tuneful splendour.
Every bird featured in this sturdy, accessible board book comes with a gorgeous, stylised photograph and interesting facts about its song, size, diet, breeding habits and habitat.
The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus is perfect for sharing with children to encourage them to explore the world of nature on their doorstep, and will be a treasured gift for bird lovers of any age.
Other books in the series, which create the sounds of nature at the touch of a button, are The Little Book of Ocean Animal Sounds, The Little Book of Wetland Bird Sounds, The Little Book of Night-time Animal Sounds, The Little Book of Woodland Bird Songs and The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs.
(Fine Feathers Press, board book, Â£12.99)