Beauty contests will never be the same again. Following an introduction by a golden eagle (“your national Big Bird”) and a procession in which the contestants express their opinions (“We’re birds. Why are we walking?”), each state bird struts its stuff. Among the contestants are: Mississippi’s Mockingbird, sporting an Elvis Presley hairstyle and costume and demonstrating why it is known as the King of Song; Connecticut’s patriotic American Robin, who comically voices his irritation with Delaware’s Blue Hen Chicken; and the Indiana Cardinal who (literally) pokes his beak into Illinois’ page. Each bird’s entry has information about his home state, but readers will be laughing so hard they may not realize they are learning something. The competition’s finale is sure to leave kids—and grownups—in stitches. Author Hudson Talbott’s colorful illustrations fit the mood and personality of each feathered friend, and are a perfect match for the zaniness of the book. This masterpiece is definitely something to crow about.
Recommended by Basya Karp, Librarian, New York, USA