Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart (2014). LOVE THIS BOOK! So many possibilities. Stewart focuses on just birds’ feathers and the many different purposes of feathers. Each page or two-page spread has a statement with a simile in large print like “Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella.” Then there is a text box with smaller print describing how one particular bird (like the Tricolored heron, Florida Everglades) uses its feathers in this way. Students 2nd-5th will enjoy listening to this read aloud and then rereading and examining the illustrations in the classroom library. There’s even more potential for this text as a mentor for writers. Students, overwhelmed by research, might just focus on one aspect of an animal or multiple animals. Close reading of one description of a bird might help them think about the types of details to include. They can also play around with figurative language, layout and design – using Stewart’s book as a model. Check out Stewart’s note at the end about her research – she talks about all of the resources she consulted and how she wrote several versions before it went to publication.
Sorry this is short – my next manuscript is due in a week. Writing it has consumed me!