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Birds of a Letter


Loved it! 😍

Make some feathered friends while learning about unusual birds in this fun alphabet book by Craig Macnaughton.

Birds of a Letter by Craig Macnaughton is a fun aviary alphabet. Colorful drawings and minimal text move through each letter of the alphabet, showcasing a different bird for each letter. The reader is invited into the book with the text, “Let’s see who’s up in the tree.” Colorful and detailed illustrations show a range of birds from Avocet and Bee Eater to Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Puffin, and Victoria Crowned Pigeon. Each letter follows a pattern including the name of the bird, some trait or fact about it, plus the bird’s song or sound it makes. For example, “Y is for Yellow-legged Gull. Kyow, yow, yow! Being annoying is this birds’ claim to fame.” The artwork depicts three goofy-eyed birds in a beach-like landscape all with beaks open. You can almost hear the noisy bird call. Each page or spread is colorful and provides a sense of the habitat, often showing two birds with male and female coloring, and offering clues to each bird’s common traits.

What I love: the fun names of the different birds along with the sounds they make; the alphabet page—all the letters of the alphabet “cut” from an image of the bird for that letter that includes the eyes! 

What I wish the book included: more detail in each page or spread. I always read picture books five times in a row to get a sense of whether an adult—or young listeners—will grow tired too quickly. It passes this test but kids love to examine the illustrations and I wish there were more details about the habitat and the species for children to zero-in on. 

Like all alphabet books, finding something appropriate for each letter is a challenge—especially for X and Z. Here X leans on the Latin/scientific name—xolmis dominicanus—but it includes the common name as the “trait” for the bird. Z is back to common names with Zebra Finch and sets up for sleep with the song or birdcall as a string of Zs (perfect in case the book is requested as a bedtime read). Because the book opened with an “invitation,” it seemed it should have ended with a conclusion rather than simply the page for Zebra Finch.

In all, this is a fun, colorful, and educational book that I highly recommend. 

Reviewed by

I have two blogs; one on writing and one for children's book reviews & activities. I’m currently reviewing secular books with Catholic characters, rated to aid parents in selecting titles. I'm the author of over 30 books for children and teens and over 1500 articles. I also enjoy cooking and nature.


FROM AVOCET TO ZEBRA FINCH, fly the friendly skies with some fabulous feathered friends! Go far up into the trees, to the oceanside and deep into the rainforest to practice your ABC’s with an amazing aviary of beautiful birds. The lively illustrations and terrific trivia are a fantastic introduction into the incredible world of birds.

About the author

Craig is a stay-at-home-parent, fine artist and film buff. He launched “A B Sea Creatures” in October, 2019 with “Birds of a Letter” following in June 2020, and many more on the way! He is also a budding chef, graphic designer and award-winning filmmaker. view profile

Published on June 01, 2020

Published by

0-1000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by