Many will know and love Lucy Cousins as the artist and author behind the bestselling Maisy series, and she’s as bright and fun as ever in her newest picture book Hooray for Birds!
The book lets kids imagine what it would be like to be a bird for a day, whether it’s flying high in the sky, swimming along the water, or swooping through the trees. It encourages children to engage with the story and the pictures, and to envision what adventures they could have as a busy bird.
It is also a great opportunity for kids to learn more about our feathered friends. Although not all the birds are named and identified, they have each been carefully and distinctly drawn doing their own activities, and this gives parents a chance to explain more about them. A swan glides over a lake, a woodpecker pecks at a tree, a penguin makes its way through the snow, a peacock shows off their plumage. Each is wonderfully bright and cheery, with beaks turned up in a smile.
Hooray for Birds! has a simple rhyming pattern throughout that’s a lot of fun to say aloud, and thanks to its large pages, pictures and text size, this is a great picture book for a beginning reader.
We spoke to Cousins last year, while she was still working on the book, and she told us more about putting it together. She says she began by “looking through lots of books of birds, and painting as many birds as I could, especially ones with beautiful colours, or amazing beaks, or plumage.” From there, Cousins had to spend some time making it work as a whole, and deliberating over how and where to incorporate the words. The whole process is, says Cousins, “a bit like putting a puzzle together, making all the different elements work well together – not only the pictures and words, but the concept or idea, the page number and layout, the colours, the design, and lastly the title and cover.” You can read more from our interview with Lucy Cousins here.
Because it takes the child through a busy day as a bird and ends the story on a good night (or a tuwit tuwoo, to be exact), Hooray for Birds! would make a fun new read to incorporate into bedtime. It may even help to use up some the last remnants of energy from the day in chirping and cheeping, before cosying up in their own comfy nest.
Lucy Cousins is the multi-award-winning creator of Maisy. Her books have sold many millions of copies, in over 29 languages, and include Jazzy in the Jungle, Yummy, I’m the Best, Peck, Peck, Peck and Hooray for Fish!, which is a great choice if your little one would rather be under the sea than in the sky.
Click here to learn more or purchase a copy of Hooray for Birds!