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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Birds of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions build unique nests in which to lay and nurture their eggs, from which will hatch the next generation. It’s a marvel to watch: creation in all its glory and all in a nest, big or small or built with spider silk and lined with moss, like the delicate ping-pong ball-sized hummingbird nest. Robins use a lot of mud and grasses to build their nests and Snow Buntings use moss, roots, grass, and feathers. Whether the nest is nestled in the tree branches or tucked under the eaves, or secure within a rocky crevice, each nest is unique to its own type of bird, made to nurture and protect, using what materials are most readily available.
Sarah Jane Conklin’s picture book story, Nesting Grounds, is a delightful way to teach young readers about the many types of birds and their nests. Using her own oil paintings to illustrate the various birds and nests, the author/artist has presented lyrical rhyming verse to describe the images of each bird and nest illustrated. But this book isn’t just for young readers. Its artistic charm will attract bird lovers of all ages to read and enjoy. The book begins with a short, rhyming poem to describe the basic nature of birds and their nests and why each type of nest is important to a specific bird. Each of the ten birds chosen for this book has a four-line stanza describing the nest and the interesting eggs laid within. A very enjoyable read: informative and illustrative.