For the Birds – book review

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson
by Peggy Thomas
Picture book
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Most kids will not be familiar with Roger Tory Peterson – I didn’t learn about him until I took an ornithology class in college, but Peggy Thomas really brings this artist, naturalist, and bird-lover to life – his passion for birds is clear throughout this eye-catchingly illustrated children’s biography. He used a system of field marks (indicating size, shape, notable markings, voice, range, etc.) to help fledgling birders learn how to identify different species and published a series of compact guides that people could easily tuck in a pocket. He spent a lot of time in the field collecting information about his subjects and photographing them (instead of shooting them and stuffing them, as other ornithologists/naturalists had in the past). Although his parents worried about Roger’s ability to support himself, he was an enterprising young man and was able to use his talents to follow his interests – getting paid to do something he loved! His life and his love of birds and nature are sure to be an inspiration to young folks and adults. An excellent biography of an excellent subject. End papers show a sketch of Peterson himself – with identifying field marks (fun!).

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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