HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Out of the Beaks of Birds: Our Crazy, Pesky…Verbs
Author: Cinda Klickna
Illustrator: Jim Edwards
Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing, 2021
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 2 – 7
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Children’s book
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Klickna, Cinda. Out of the Beaks of Birds: Our Crazy, Pesky…Verbs (Published in 2021 by Clovercroft Publishing, Franklin, TN). One spring day Dominic and Grandma look out the window at the bird feeder, and Dominic sees several colorful birds, like a red cardinal and an orange oriole. But while listening to Grandma explain about the birds, Dominic also learns about some irregular verbs such as bring-brought-has brought and fly-flew-has flown. What is the yellow bird that they see? What is the past tense of go? And what is the past participle of take?
Ah! A woman after my own heart. Children need to hear and learn proper language from the time they are born. I try not to be a “grammar Nazi,” but it irks me no end to pick up a newspaper, magazine, or book and read that “he laid down on the bed” or “she set up in her chair.” We homeschooled both our boys, and when they started to talk, each of them, five years apart, started saying “tooken” for the participle of take. We don’t know why or where they got that, because they didn’t hear it from us, but without our being overbearing about it, just using gentle reminders, they soon learned better.
Author Cinda Ackerman Klickna taught middle and high school English in Springfield, Illinois, for over 25 years. Five different varieties of birds are used in the stories, and each story focuses on the use of a certain verb, with the verb tenses printed in the color of the bird in the story. The book is useful on several levels. Preschool children will learn their colors while looking at the birds and will hear correct language through listening as someone reads to them. Early elementary students can hear correct usage and practice reading. Older students doing reports on birds can turn to the pages in the back with facts about the birds and follow links to websites for more information. This is a great book.