#Kidlit Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds

2018 was designated as the Year of the Bird (official website). As their final event event of the year, the organizers are calling on people to share their love of birds. To participate, we’re going to explore a variety of exciting new children’s books about birds this week.

When I heard that this book combined the fantastic photography the crew of National Geographic with the gorgeous words of Jane Yolen and daughter Heidi Stemple, I knew it would be amazing.

Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple is a family affair that reveals their remarkable creative abilities and passion for birds. It will take your breath away.

Let’s start with the end papers as you open the book. In among the delicate blue silhouettes of a flock of birds trail wisps of words, which are common sayings about birds. Delightful.

Next you encounter the “Contents.” They run two pages of small print. You see that you are going to find out what a bird is, the history of birds, state birds, their songs, birds migration, bird records… Don’t take too long reading it all because there is much to explore. Delve in.

Each section combines gorgeous photographs with information about birds, either in chunks or as cute circle-shaped sidebars which remind you of nests or eggs. Poems accompany some sections. For example, in the section about feathers:

For keeping warm
and in the air,
for camouflage
or flashy flair…

~ Heidi E. Y. Stemple

I would keep going with the review, but I just want to keep reading and looking at the book. Oh, here’s a section about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count that I mentioned on Monday. Now I found out that the American Woodcock is the slowest flying bird. There’s Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig and a list of movies featuring birds. Oh my, I can’t wait to show this to my kid.

You get the idea. Fly With Me is a must have for ornithologists young and old. It would work equally well as a resource in the classroom or as a treasured gift to a friend who loves nature. Enjoy a copy today!

Activity Suggestion

Make your own personal scrapbook to celebrate birds. Either collect or make bird illustrations, take or find bird photographs, write bird poems, gather bird stories, and research bird facts. Paste or tape them into a notebook or make a scrapbook. Update it regularly.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years  All ages!
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (October 16, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426331819
ISBN-13: 978-1426331817

Don’t forget our growing list of books for young birdwatchers at Science Books for Kids.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher’s representative for review. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


  1. Jane Yolen

    Thrilled about this. And about the review of daughter Heidi’s Counting Birds.
    However Jason is my youngest son (not my husband as mentoined in your review) and while a professional photographer, only one of his photos made the cut for the book. My children (in order of age) are Heidi, Adam, Jason Stemple. Their father is my late husband– David Stemple–who is Pa in OWL MOON and taught all of us how to bird.

    –Jane Yolen

  2. Roberta

    How embarrassing. Thank you for straightening it out. I’ll make the changes. Trying to do too much in one week, I’m afraid.

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