Sounds of the Skies by Moira Butterfield & Jonathan Woodward

Published by Liontree, an imprint of Little Tiger Press, 2020.

Sounds of the Skies is a fantastic interactive sound book. It’s a non-fiction title that explores the world from a bird’s-eye view. The book includes a wonderfully diverse range of habitats from rainforest to desert, and mountain top to forest.

Each double page has a bird as its main focus. The bird is introduced with a callout paragraph which is beautifully poetic in tone: the tawny owl is described as “a feathered ghost on a moonlit branch”, the kookaburra “a queen in a palace of golden leaves.” The sound button then lets you listen to their call. We can listen to all sorts of birds from the mighty bald eagle to an ostrich booming in the Serengeti, and a nightingale chirping in the forest. The sound effects are excellent – brilliantly realistic. Who knew that the white-tailed Ptarmigan had such a strange (and, frankly, hilarious) mating call?!

Each double page features five different animals. There are short factual paragraphs about each one and a lovely full-colour illustration of them in their setting. I liked how, in addition to more well-known animals, the book also included lots of obscure creatures – among them the kinkajou, the white-spotted tiger quoll, and the yellow-bellied glider.

At the back of the book there’s a useful world map where each of the places we’ve visited is indicated. There’s also a feature page about some of the endangered birds from the book. Sounds of the Skies is a terrifically accessible non-fiction book which will hook younger readers.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 4+

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending me this book to review.

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