Title: This is the NEST that ROBIN Built, with a little help from her friends
Author & Illustrator: Denise Fleming
Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2018
Themes: nests, robins, chicks, help, rhythm
This is the SQUIRREL
who trimmed the twigs, not too big,
that anchor the nest that Robin built.
A robin’s animal friends help build her nest in this cumulative collage picture book.
Robin is building a nest, and her friends are ready to help! The squirrel trims the twigs. The dog brings the string. The horse shares his straw. And a pig, a mouse and a rabbit all do their part. And then a surprise gatefold spread reveals how Robin knits them all together to make a safe and cozy home for her babies.
Why I like this book:
I think this is my all time favorite riff on “The house that Jack built.” It takes common animals from the countryside and farm embedded in the the familiar punchy rhyming rhythm we know well. I love all the building materials mentioned in their layers, and the combined texture of print-making and collage provide the perfect medium to portray the structure of a Robin’s nest. Denise printed all the papers (monoprint), then cut them up and collaged them to create the final illustration. Color and texture create wonderful patterns.
Children should check the pages for more than just the six familiar animals mentioned…. Mice, a rooster, a frog, insects, ladybugs… The pages pulse with spring life, not just from the level of animation in the illustrations, but also the wonderful action verbs: trim, anchor, wrap…
I love the unexpected fledgling finale too!
This is a great tongue-twister of a read-aloud to herald spring in the classroom.
Maybe take your children out into the playground/park to see if they can be Robin’s helper and find all the raw material necessary to build a nest.This story is a sweet introduction to nest-building and the life cycle of a robin.
Make a bird’s nest STEM project for kids.
Don’t miss this interview I did with Denise a couple of years ago.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.