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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
"Betsy Beansprout: Bird Watching Guide" by Amber Elmore is about a 6-year old girl who lives in a state park with her parents who work there. She describes her idyllic life chatting with the birds and naming them, rolling in mud puddles, and exploring the park. Included are identification tips for several birds, questions to stimulate thinking and conversation in your child, activities such as making a bird feeder, and recipes for bird related snacks and bird food. I believe this book would be suitable for any child in elementary school with a target audience about 8-9 years old, based on the number of words on a page and the type of words used. It could of course be read with younger children as well. Some activities require adult supervision.
This 43-page book is very colorful, and includes a main character who is cheerful and likeable. It is a great introduction to bird identification and care of the natural world around us. God is given credit for the beauty of nature and a Bible verse is included about His caring for the birds (and therefore He will care for us as well). Betsy Beansprout is fun to read. It reminds me of my own childhood which included many camping trips in state, national, and provincial parks. Frequently these parks had educational nature programs in which the rangers would lead hikes and teach about flowers, trees, and animals. As a child I also enjoyed making things and learning about birds, so I think that children will really enjoy the suggestions in this book. Amber Elmore has developed a creative way to teach about nature and I believe it will be easy for children to relate to Betsy.