This collection of short, accessible poems soars! Each spread features an illustration of a different species of bird and a poem about them. The longest poem is 19 lines, the shortest 3. There is rhythm and there is rhyme, but both are always subjugated to the brilliant images Elliott is painting with words.

The Cardinal

He’s a hotshot


She’s a Plain Jane.

But one without…

the other…

a song with no refrain.

Since I picked up this book, I’ve been seeing something different when I look at the sparrows in the bush outside my window.┬áIt’s a great book to share with kids who love to watch birds, or to share to help them really see the birds they watch.

On the Wing, by David Elliott, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. Candlewick: 2014.