A festival of feathers: one family's favourite books about birds

Published on: 06 June 2018 Author: Lehanne Thornton

As part of National Bookstart Week, Lehanne Thornton, mum to an 18-month-old little boy - and BookTrust Cymru Coordinator - shares some bird-themed books they’ve enjoyed together.

Next week my son will turn 18 months old and I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown by (everyone who is a parent warns you about this and they’re really not kidding!).

Lehanne's son and A Busy Day for Birds

Over the past year and a half, we’ve tried lots of different baby groups from baby yoga, massage and swimming, to music classes and meeting up with our local playgroup.

The one habit that seems to have stuck with us though is our weekly trip to the Bookstart Rhymetimes and Storytimes in our local library.

In those early days as a new parent, when I was so sleep deprived and exhausted that sometimes just making it out of the house felt like a huge achievement, the warm welcome from the library staff and the other parents at our first Storytime was an absolute tonic. The sessions are free and everyone is welcome to come along each week to share stories, songs and rhymes with their babies and toddlers.

This week it’s National Bookstart Week, Bookstart’s annual celebration of sharing stories and rhymes and in our house, the Bookstart Bird Boogie theme is definitely a hit!

Birds are really familiar to children and so they’re a great topic to encourage conversation, whether we’re talking about the birds we see on our countryside walks, pointing out pigeons in the city centre or feeding ducks in the local park.

This year’s chosen book, A Busy Day for Birds / Diwrnod Prysur yr Adar by Lucy Cousins is full of exciting illustrations with lots of bird sounds and movements that my little one just loves to mimic!

From 4-10 June, libraries across Wales will be holding special Storytimes to celebrate, so get in touch with your local library and join in! If you can’t make it to a Bookstart Storytime, there are lots of fun activities on the BookTrust website, too.

To get you in the mood for the feathery festivities, here are some bird-themed books that my son and I have enjoyed reading together.

Lehanne's bird books 1

Goodnight, Goose! by Laura Wall
A colourful, sturdy book that’s perfect for babies and toddlers to handle without worrying about torn pages. The simple story is also a really nice way to introduce them to a bedtime routine.

That’s Not My Duck… by Fiona Watt
The bright colours and tactile elements of this book have had huge appeal since we began reading together when my son was a tiny baby. Now that he’s a little older he loves to try and spot the little mouse on each page too!

Cyw a’i Ffrindiau by Jo Ryan
This bilingual book is suitable for Welsh speakers and learners alike. My son just loves feeling the different textures on each page and he finds the fingerprint illustrations really engaging.

Lehanne's bird books 2

Who is Sleeping? (Lift the Flap) by Petr Horacek
Most babies and toddlers love picture books with flaps and my little one is no exception. The flaps add excitement to the reading experience and are a great way to help him hone his fine motor skills. The sleep theme throughout the book makes it a perfect choice for a bedtime story.

Cyw Bach by Oakley Graham, adapted by Eleri Huws
I loved this classic story as a child so it feels really special to be able share it with my own child. This bilingual version of Chicken Little is definitely a firm favourite with us.

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
This is such a fun book to read aloud. The story has real humour and a good rhythm, with lots of repetition that will get your little one joining in in no time.

Lehanne's bird books 3

Beautiful Birds by Emmanuelle Walker
The beautiful illustrations in this book really captivate my son. It’s a bright, colourful A-Z of different species of birds from around the world, with clever rhymes throughout giving it real momentum.


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More Bird Boogie fun

Bookstart Bird Boogie rhymes - Welsh

Share rhymes together

Rhymes to say and sing

Join in the bird chorus with our bilingual rhyme sheets and get ready to Boogie!

Creative with colour

Birds to colour in

Unleash your creative side - print out our colouring sheets, grab some crayons and bring your birds to life.