Magnificent Birds: A Beautiful Book for Children and Bird Enthusiasts

Can you believe that summer is almost over?! While autumn is my favorite season, summer is a close favorite, especially since we endure long, cold winters here in Upstate New York. Needless to say, we've been trying to get in as much outside time as possible, soaking up the warm weather and nature all around us. Bird watching is a fun activity that we tend to enjoy. Recently, we've been enjoying our new Magnificent Birds picture book, which shares amazing artwork and factual information about some of these captivating creatures.

From the bird of paradise that performs an extravagant courtship dance in the rain forest to the bar-tailed godwit that flies thousands of miles across the ocean without stopping, readers can learn about incredible birds from all over the world with this strikingly illustrated gift book. In stylish linocut prints, Narisa Togo captures the beauty of both rare and familiar winged creatures from every part of the globe, presenting Japanese cranes, kakapos from New Zealand, and Andean flamingoes among the fourteen graceful birds on display.

Narisa Togo is a printmaker and illustrator with a lifelong love of birds. She has a bachelor’s degree in ecology and a master’s degree in children’s book illustration. She lives in Japan.

Magnificent Birds offers a hardcover exterior and large two-page spreads to highlight each bird that is showcased in the book. Narisa Togo uses a neat art technique called linocut to capture the grace and awe of each bird that is featured in her book

This really is a treasure! Just flipping through the pages to take in the artwork is a treat on it's own, but the book offers so much more. You see, it also highlights factual information on each bird species in the book. It was actually created for children ages ten through fourteen, but can easily be cherished by all ages, including adults. My son and I enjoy sitting together to read this, while also learning about some of the different birds from all around the world. There are a few that we were already quite familiar with such as the bald eagle, barn owl, and emperor penguin, but there are plenty others that we are just recently learning more about. 


The author, herself, has a personal love for birds and even takes groups on bird watching tours. I can definitely sense her enjoyment for these creatures as I read through the pages. There are about two paragraphs worth of information included on each bird with just about enough to learn quite a bit about each one. For instance, we had learned that the Australian pelican can hold as much as three gallons of water in its elastic throat pouch. This is how it catches fish that are swimming in murky water. Once a fish is caught, it presses the pouch to its chest to drain the excess water and eats the catch whole. We were very intrigued by the fact that a kakapo can live to be up to ninety years old, or that the wandering albatross' large wingspan can allow it to fly more than 10,000 miles in a single journey. about efficient!

If you or your child enjoys learning about birds, or if you know someone who is a bird enthusiast, this would make a wonderful gift just for them. Not only is the book aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but there are tons of interesting facts and information about each bird species, so it's a fantastic resource for any nature study.