Birds of a Feather

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Vanita Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Author Vanita Oelschlager has done a great job of explaining the idea of idioms on a child's level, but where this book really shines is with the illustrations.  Robin Hegan has made the book come to life, with vibrant illustrations that have life and movement.  Each idiom is displayed with such character that will captivate children while teaching them something new.

Each idiom is given a definition, along with the phrase used in a sentence that children will understand.  The idea of an idiom is a complex one, but both the author and the illustrator have done a good job of bringing it down to a child's level.  I would absolutely recommend the book for both a classroom setting or a home library, as Birds of a Feather will help both parents and educators explain the concept of the idiom in a fun and colorful manner.
Was this review helpful?
Cute children's book. Great story. Illustrations are beautiful. Children will enjoy. Animals are great in the story
Was this review helpful?
My boys really enjoyed this book. It has tons of idioms and silly pictures. They giggled throughout the story. We really enjoyed the illustrations and learning things like what ants in your pants means. Will be reading again and again. Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This is not really what I was expecting, and it kind of missed the mark for me. This is basically just a collection of illustrated idioms (some illustrated better than others; what was with the square "butterflies in your stomach"?) with basic descriptions of what the idioms mean. For example, "ants in your pants" means you are "excited and squirmy and can't sit still". Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for me. I wanted to know why that combination of words came to be used in that way, and I probably would've loved learning about the origins of these idioms (since I would've known the basic meanings of many of them as a child, anyway). There is one example of this at the end of the book, where "barking up the wrong tree" is given a more thorough treatment. I would've preferred the whole book to be like that, with the origins of these idioms explained, rather than just their meanings.

The illustrations are hit and miss for me, and I don't like the way the explanations are printed upside down in tiny print, necessitating flipping the book around if you want to read them (I read this on a laptop, which was pretty awkward). I also don't like how "bring home the bacon" has to adhere to gender stereotypes with the phrase: "In our family, my dad brings home the bacon." This book was published in 2009; why can't the mom bring home the bacon?

Overall, this wasn't great. If the author had extended the idiom origins throughout the whole book, rather than just having one footnote at the end, I would've liked this one more.
Was this review helpful?
This book had a lot of the usual idioms in it and it explained the idioms for each one. The drawings were sometimes funny, but they were usually hit or miss for me. My main complaint is that the explanation of the idioms are in tiny print upside down on the page, so they are difficult to read. I think it'd be much more user friendly for them to be underneath the large print that the idiom is done in. The book might be fun for young children, however, it's not my favorite children's book.

I have posted this review on Twitter and Goodreads. I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Birds of a Feather introduces children to the concept of idioms in a very simple and straightforward way. For each idiom, there is a large and colorful illustration demonstrating what one might think the phrase means based on the individual words (for “barking up the wrong tree” there is an image of a dog barking up one tree, while the cat he is chasing resides at the top of the tree just behind him), followed by the actual meaning of the idiom and the phrase used in a sentence. 
It’s a very quick read and the illustrations are a lot of fun. My children just learned about idioms last year, in 1st grade, and my son has been inserting idioms into his speech ever since (and then informing me that he has just used an idiom, and what an idiom is). When I saw this book was available, I gravitated towards it for that exact reason. Two of my kiddos read it with me the second time around and they giggled at several of the illustrations, and both agreed that it was a good way to explain idioms to kids who might find them confusing.
Was this review helpful?
This book was just OK for me. From the illustration to the content. Thing i did like about the illustrations that they did show how silly some of the idioms my seem to a child.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book of idioms and silly pictures. There are things like raining cats and dogs and a picture of a little girl with an umbrella and cats raining on her, or Wild Goose Chase with a goose being chased by the police. Each one has what it really means written upside down on the page. This book is beautifully illustrated and the characters are really cute (love the ants). It has an explaination in the back of what an idiom is and explains how it has a hidden meaning. I recommend this book to 3-5 yr. olds. I really think they would love the illustrations and learn at the same time. 
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is an adorable way to introduce children to Idioms of the English Language. Each page is an image that illustrates a literal interpretation of a saying and what they actually mean. It is very fun and beautifully done. I recommend to children in the 4+ bracket.  Check it out!
Was this review helpful?
What does "Hog Wash" mean? Why do people say going on a "wild goose chase?'  Very cute illustrations and succinct descriptions to describe funny every day phrases. This book would be great for ELL students.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not exactly certain how to review this title. I think it's a bit too old for my children. The illustrations are very amusing and the explainations behind the terms  are clear and entertaining, but I think the amusement  is lost on most younger children who aren't ready to grasp the concept of an idiom as of yet . Fun, funny, but not the right book. For me or my family.
Was this review helpful?
Birds of a Feather teaches children the concept of idioms through helpful text and the cutest illustrations. Kids learn what it means to have goosebumps, be a bull in a china shop and to be caught when it’s raining cats and dogs. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the author, VanitaBooks, LLC and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
As an English teacher, I loved, loved, loved the introduction of idioms in this beautiful book. Lovely illustrations—always brought a smile to my face!
Was this review helpful?
"Idioms show a language's sense of humor, they're your language's ticklish spots so learning them can be lots of fun." 

I very much enjoyed the idioms and the artwork in "Birds of a Feather"! However, I disliked how the "answers/translations" of those idioms were in fine print and upside down. I didn't feel like it was as effective for the target audience to teach the meaning of specific idioms. It was a heck of a lot of fun to read knowing the idioms before reading this, though.
Was this review helpful?
A big thank you to NetGalley and VanitaBooks LLC for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. This is a children's book. The graphics are fabulous and gorgeous. The idioms fun for kids. I couldn't read the upside down words-not sure what they were for.  I think most children would enjoy. I rated it a 4.
Was this review helpful?
A fabulous well illustrated book. Love the way explainations of each idiom are provided inverted at the bottom of pages. Lovely to use,an idiom to describe the author and illustrator.
Only way to describe this book is with an idiom - In a league of its own!
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book! It was perfect for my daughter with autism!  She has the hardest time grasping idioms.  She takes everything so literal.  This was perfect, I love the illustrations.  My only negative was that it wasn't longer!  There was a few idioms that I would have loved to seen added.  This was also perfect for my younger kids who don't really understand a lot of idioms.
Was this review helpful?
This is a really cute book. It is filled with idioms and upside down in the corner is the explanation of the idiom and an example of it used in a sentence. The pictures are colorful and engaging. I do wish the book gave us the origin of the idiom as well as the explanation.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book!! I love idioms and the history of language and I think that presenting it to kids in such a way is not only clever but exciting. I think it will definitely inspire a love of language within the right kid.
Was this review helpful?
This was an extremely enjoyable and educational book! I love the pictures that go along with each idiom! I would carry this in a classroom for sure!
Was this review helpful?