Frank Mazzola, Jr., author/illustrator
Frank Mazzola, Jr. is the author/illustrator of Counting is for the Birds and the illustrator of The Ocean Alphabet Book and The Crayon Counting Book. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Cindy, where they watch the birds that feed at their five bird feeders.
Read more about Frank.
- Learning Magazine Teacher's Choice Award
School Library Journal
One by one, birds arrive at a feeder until a total of 20 are clustered at the spot. A squirrel scatters the flock, thwarting a patient cat who lurks in the background. This versatile book invites more than one reading to absorb the variety of concepts presented. It is, first of all, a counting book with a flowing, rhyming story, but it also gives information about birds in both text and illustration. Each double-spread includes basic facts about physical characteristics and behaviors, specific foods birds prefer, and types of feeders to use. The attractive format successfully separates concepts while maintaining continuity in presentation. Illustrations are all computer-generated, digital paintings that are amazingly realistic, clear, and sharp. Birds are easily identifiable with bright colors that remain true to nature and are attractively framed by a twig design. One disconcerting note is that all of the background scenes are of summer while many of the birds are those most often associated with feeders in winter. While some people do leave feeders out year round, experts suggest that birds are better off depending on their natural environments when food is readily available. While all the information found here can be located elsewhere, and counting books abound, this combination of counting, rhyming, story, facts, and the visual appeal of the unique presentation succeeds at all levels.
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Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 11