LOIS EHLERT has created many picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Leaf Man, Pie in the Sky, In My World, Growing Vegetable Soup, Planting a Rainbow, Waiting for Wings, and Color Zoo, which won a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
PreS-Gr 2-- This unusual book is both a story and a beginning nature guide. A pet cat wants to vary his diet with wild birds, but each attempt gains him only feathers. Twelve different bird species are carefully illustrated with scientific accuracy and can be used to teach identification; the final four pages offer additional facts. On each page, the bird's typical call is printed and plants pictured are named. The rhyming story appears in large, bold typeface, but the rhythm is somewhat awkward and the word choices forced. Against the white background, cut-outs of painted paper create vivid shapes that are not realistic and yet manage to include all the field identification marks. Small children will appreciate the apparent simplicity of the pictures while older readers will be more aware of their subtleties. --Carolyn Caywood, Virginia Beach Public Library
Ehlert ( Fish Eyes ; Color Zoo ) brings her fresh, distinctive eye for color and design to the world of birds. Twelve of the most familiar appear--pursued but never truly threatened by a bell-wearing cat--in this collection of stunning cutout compositions, accompanied by simple, sprightly verse. ``But cats / can't fly / and they / can't soar; / and birds / know what / their wings are for.'' Lifesize and sporting plumage that, whether brilliant or muted, manages to suggest a feather's almost infinitely variegated hues, these are birds that truly soar. A succinct but informative glossary concludes this imaginative armchair excursion, which is at once an inspiring introduction to bird-watching and a pure visual treat. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)