Review posted October 28, 2011.
Marshall Cavendish Children, 2011. 40 pages.
The title of this book definitely caught my eye! You see, my maiden name is Hatch. In fact, I decided that someone in my family who still bore the name would have to own this book, and I sent it to my sister for her birthday.
The book itself, besides its delightful name, is a nice introduction to various kinds of birds. It reminds me of The Bird Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta, which my son spent hours looking over when he was small. It was one of the first picture books he memorized all the words to, we read it to him so many times. I can easily imagine a small child being just as fascinated with this book.
The format is a nice predictable one. First, some eggs are shown and the text tells some facts about the type of bird that laid them. The caption asks, "Can you guess whose eggs these are?" Older kids may well be able to guess some of them. Then, as you turn the page, you see the birds with a nest of hatchlings in their native habitat. The text tells the name of the birds and more interesting tidbits about them. On each habitat page, there is a list of several other critters "also on this page." So it will give some fun to younger children to spot the other animals.
My one complaint with the book is that I wish the eggs were drawn to scale. The ostrich and hummingbird eggs are drawn at similar sizes. The description tells how big and how small they are, but I think it would be much more effective to show that. That might perhaps interfere with putting the text in an egg shape, but maybe in the initial drawing of the eggs, they could at least make them actual size.
Other than that little quibble, I think this book will set many children off on a fascination with birds. Interesting and beautifully done.