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Nerdy Birdy: A Review & Giveaway

When I first opened Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds, I was not (yet) reading it with the eye of a writer.  I was way too smitten with the bird on the front cover.  I mean, look at this guy:

Nerdy Birdy Cover
Used with permission from http://us.macmillan.com/nerdybirdy/aaronreynolds

Nerdy Birdy is cute, but he is most definitely not cool.  He is no good at sports or singing or hunting.  As a matter of fact, the only things Nerdy Birdy is good at are reading, playing video games, and reading about video games.  He is quite lonely… until he finds a whole slew of other birds just like him!

Nerdy Birdy Interior Spread 1
Used with permission from http://us.macmillan.com/nerdybirdy/aaronreynolds

This book will delight children.  The illustrations by Matt Davies are top-notch.  (Be sure to read the illustrations closely for some subtle nods to Star Wars, Angry Birds, and Hello Kitty.)  The language is so kid-friendly and is sure to produce giggles in any reader. As a matter of fact, my own daughters were laughing out loud at the dialogue. Most important though – and what sealed my love for this book – is the message.  You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.

After I read Nerdy Birdy multiple times just for the sheer pleasure of it, I read it again with a writer’s eye. If you are looking to spice up your units on narrative writing, Nerdy Birdy will become one of your go-to mentor texts in writing workshop.  Here are five of my favorite noticings:

  1. The book starts with a character introduction: “This is Nerdy Birdy.  His glasses are too big.  His wings are too small.  He’s allergic to birdseed.”
  2. It is a narrative text, but incorporates features typically found in informational text such as labels or numbered lists:

    Nerdy Birdy Interior Spread 2
    An example of labels. Used with permission from http://us.macmillan.com/nerdybirdy/aaronreynolds
  3. The book includes dialogue, but it is written as part of the illustration rather than incorporated in the text.
  4. Short sentence fragments are used to emphasize a point: “Eagles, cardinals, and robins don’t care about reading. Or video games.”
  5. The lead (see #1) is repeated later in the book when Nerdy Birdy meets his friends: “Their glasses were too big.  Their wings were too small.  At least half of them had birdseed allergies.”

You will want Nerdy Birdy as part of your classroom library in the fall.  I promise, your students will love it.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

  • This giveaway is for a copy of Nerdy Birdy.  Many thanks to MacMillan Publishers for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Nerdy Birdy, please leave a comment about this post by Tuesday, June 7th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Friday, June 10th.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, my contact at MacMillan Publishers will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – (Nerdy Birdy). Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Comments are now closed. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this post. Fran De La Rosa’s commenter number was chosen using a random number generator so she’ll receive a copy of Nerdy Birdy. Here’s what she wrote:

I am only sad that this is our last day! This would definitely be my next read aloud. Thanks for introducing–it will be my first summer reading treat (for my own enjoyment).

 

Dana Murphy View All

Literacy Coach, Reader, Writer

108 thoughts on “Nerdy Birdy: A Review & Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. Nerdy Birdy looks delightful! I love discovering new books that can be enjoyed on many levels! Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity to win a copy! 🙂

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  2. Nerdy Birdy sounds like it would be a hit at home — and then in my classroom! I like the idea of reading a book first (for the story — I am a bit of a plot junkie) and then again as a writer.

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  3. Nerdy Birdy looks like a lot of fun to share with my class and can be used to cover several lessons. Thanks for highlighting this one.

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  4. I love Nerdy Birdy! It was on our short list this year for our One School One Book selection. Such a fun book to share with kids, and so much to talk about.

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  5. Oh my goodness! Even if I don’t win the giveaway, this book will be under the Christmas tree for my brother this year. His name is Jay. His nickname as a kid was Jay Bird, then it slowly morphed into The Bird, and then Nerd Bird. He now gets called Uncle Nerd Bird and sometimes Nerdy Birdy by my children. This is awesome!

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  6. We read this book at our house too with lots of giggles. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the books and notice ‘craft moves’ too! I would love this addition to my classroom library to share!

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  7. One of my goals for next year is to use more mentor texts for my 1st and 2nd graders and this looks like a great place to start!. Can’t wait to read this book …

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  8. I love the illustrations, and your admission that you read it many times before your noticings such an important part of a mentor text that you want to read it and go back to it as you think about your writing.

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  9. Nerdy Birdy sounds like a book that many kids will enjoy. My son loved reading, legos, Stars Wars, Science Fiction and strategic games. I didn’t think of him as Nerdy. But now, he does. I love to read another mentor text that I can learn from. Thanks for you suggestion.

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  10. This would be great for me to use at our school’s Comp Camp or Open Institute to share great mentor text with students and adults. Thank you for sharing. Great possibilities for making the reading/writing connection.

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  11. I am only sad that this is our last day! This would definitely be my next read aloud. Thanks for introducing–it will be my first summer reading treat (for my own enjoyment).

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  12. I love a mentor text that models craft and structure from a variety of genres to show children that these are good writing techniques for whatever we’re writing!

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  13. Love your review Dana. I can tell this book will be terrific because you enjoyed it so much as a reader first. Thanks for pointing out specific craft moves the author makes. I love books with fragments… and I love watching young writers discover the joy of breaking the rules for good reasons. Have added this title to my enormous Amazon cart wish list!

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  14. omGosh I would love to have this book for my k class” I love the message that you are not alone and that if you look a little closer you can find friends who need and want friends too. Additionally, I am always looking for books that help guide our k conversations through the use of a mentor text and this sounds so perfect.

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  15. Sounds like a must read for my nerdy brood! Plus, a just-right mentor text for my class. Carnivores, Chicks and Salsa, and Creepy Carrots are already some of our favorites, and I’m sure Aaron Reynolds has done it again in Nerdy Birdy.

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  16. One area I need to work on next school year is the use of mentor texts. Thank you for the post that highlights how to read with a writer’s eye. I’ll definitely check out this book over the summer!

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  17. Nerdy Birdy: Looks like a fascinating book for the younger generation. If I was to win this book I will use it in Mexico, where I will/should/could be teaching this fall.

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  18. This is a book I’ve heard about, but not gotten my hands on yet.
    Would love to add it to my school library. Thanks for the great mentor text review.

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