Who Taught Songbirds to Sing?

Children - Christian
97 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Children are full of questions and this is reflected in the title of Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? by Kristina Schoettle. They want to know everything and usually all at once. Their questions can be a simple “Why,” or as pensive and deep as a series of questions about the creatures that inhabit our planet. They want to know who taught monkeys to fly through the trees, who taught the dolphins to swim while they’re sleeping and so much more. Here’s one question that I love: “Who taught starlings to soar side by side / Waltzing wing to wing, while in flight? / They dart and dip as they dance through the air / Like a lovely ballet in the sky.” The answer can also be as simple and sweet as the questions a child asks: “The answer is simple, I’m sure you’ll agree:/ Our good God created them all.” God created all the creatures on earth and He gave them their unique gifts.

Kristina Schoettle’s picture book, Who Taught Songbirds to Sing?, is a sweet story of questions and answers, one that explores the many mysteries of our planet and the unique creatures that inhabit it. In rhyming verse and with beautiful, bold, colorful illustrations that could be stained glass windows in a Gothic cathedral, the author presents a multitude of creatures and their unique traits, many of which I’ve never heard of before. It’s not all about creatures; there is the example of tulips: “He taught tulips to hide from the snow.” In the end, the author sums up the tips with a simple answer and does a more detailed study of each of the creatures featured and some of their unusual characteristics. She begins and concludes with quotes from the Bible to support her explanation about “who taught.” This is a great learning tool for young readers as not only will they learn about so many of God’s wonderful creatures, but they’ll also grow in their love of God and all He has done for everyone and everything.

Jennie More

Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? by Kristina Schoettle is a beautiful children’s book celebrating the wonder and power of God by appreciating the splendor of His creations - animals. The book covers various animals, including dolphins, pangolins, flamingos, turtles, archerfish, monkeys, capybaras, falcons, fireflies, groundhogs, kangaroos, owls, and much more. Each page includes information about a different animal in question-and-answer format, sharing a fascinating fact about the animal. After each description, there is a bright and colorful drawing of the animal depicting the description of its unique ability. After reminding readers about the wonder of this world, Schoettle praises God for creating the beauty in this world through spiritual prose in dedication to God. This book is not only an excellent resource for teaching children about the animal kingdom but also the Kingdom of God.

Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? by Kristina Schoettle is a brilliant, contemplative, and delightful storybook for children. Reading this book was an enchanting experience for me. Generally, it was a good reminder of the beauty surrounding us daily and to marvel and admire nature again with renewed hope and gratitude. Schoettle skilfully delivered her message by coinciding facts with faith to prove the immense power of God. The story is beautifully written and accompanied by relevant and vibrant drawings of the animals, which made the reading experience both pleasurable and charming. I loved reading this book and would certainly read it to my children because it is educational, spiritually enlightening, heartwarming, and highly effective in achieving Schoettle’s aim.

Philip Van Heusen

Psalm 19:1 tells us that the glory of God is seen in His creation. Kristina Schoettle takes this and gives example after example of God’s glory in Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? This excellent little book will delight the young reader as well as the older reader. The younger readers will enjoy the first part of the book which is written in short, simple sentences. These are questions that identify something unique about the various animals God has created. The illustrations by Dominic Schoettle, Kristina’s son, add depth to the words. Children will love identifying animals and learning about the unique abilities that God gave each. Since God took such good care of His animals, He will take care of His human children well, too. Older children will love the last half of the book which shares further information about each of the animals.

Did you know that only half a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time? Do you know what a pangolin is? What amazing ability do basilisk lizards possess? These and many other questions are answered in Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? by Kristina Schoettle. This book introduces children to many unusual animals and includes unusual facts about some common animals. This book is a call to faith bolstered by nature. Kristina shares how nature shows the glory of the God of creation. Kristina is a homeschooling mom. The book is illustrated by her 13-year-old homeschooled son, Dominic. All homeschoolers should include this book in their curriculum. I was a pioneer in homeschooling and wish I had this book for my children. It is scientifically correct and interesting to boot. This is also a fantastic resource for non-homeschoolers.

Pikasho Deka

Did you know that dolphins can swim while they sleep? Have you ever wondered how flamingos stand on one leg like gymnasts? Or how sea turtles find their way back to the beach where they were born? Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? by Kristina Schoettle is an inspirational picture book, meant to introduce children to the amazing natural wonders of the world that God has created. Whether learning about pangolins' impenetrable scales or the fact that kangaroos know how to box, each creature on Earth has the touch of God in them, which makes them unique and precious inhabitants of this planet. Apart from the short poems, there are informational snippets next to each of the creatures mentioned, revealing the specific attributes that help them survive on God's green earth.

Who Taught Songbirds to Sing? brings out a sense of wonder and awe concerning the magnificent creatures that roam this blue rock we all call home. Kristina Schoettle's catchy verses aren't just fun to read, but they also provide valuable information about a plethora of creatures and their abilities that will have children develop a deep bond with nature at a tender age. The mesmerizing illustrations by Dominic Schoettle add another complementary touch to the poems and make the book all the more immersive to read. I didn't know whales could travel long distances while asleep. I had a wonderful time reading this book and can't recommend it enough.