Age Range: 3 to 6
The dawn chorus is very loud here right now so our thoughts have turned to birds and which birds could be making so much noise! Wildlife Jack I want to fly! has been the perfect book to accompany our discussions and is full of beautiful photographs and fascinating bird facts.
The Story: Jack lives in the city but Grandad, an explorer, has a magical book that can take Jack on an adventure. Jack’s adventure starts in a tree where he visits chicks in a nest and watches them learning to fly. Jack decides that he would also like to learn to fly so Grandad gives him some wings but Jack is unsuccessful. Whilst Jack is trying to fly, various birds tell him facts about flying which lead him to develop larger wings so that he can fly with the geese.
The book, Wildlife Jack I want to fly!, is based on the first episode of the Wildlife Jack television series in which wildlife presenter Chris Packham plays Grandad. Jack and Grandad are cartoon characters but the birds, their surroundings and the backgrounds are photographs. From the moment we visited the chicks in their nest my daughter was fascinated to read more and we love the way that the birds interact with Jack throughout the story. Jack is a determined character who is eager to learn and he has a great range of facial expressions as he goes through various emotions and frustrations before finding a way that he can fly.
Jack’s story is cleverly woven around facts about birds and flying, many of which were also new to me. Did you know that blackbirds that live in cities sing louder than blackbirds in the country so that they can be heard over the traffic?! The photographs are amazing, we love the photo of the baby birds in their nest with their beaks wide open, it gives the reader a unique opportunity to see inside a bird’s nest.
Wildlife Jack I want to fly! is a great book to include in a classroom topic on birds and flight. It can introduce children to bird spotting in their immediate environment and can also be used in the technology classroom to encourage children to design their own flying machines.
There is lots of wildlife information on the Wildlife Jack website and you can watch the episode that accompanies Wildlife Jack, I want to fly! here. Wildlife Jack is published under the National Trust‘s imprint, their aim is to get children interested and involved in wildlife. Wildlife Jack will certainly help to do that and adults as well as children can learn many new and fascinating facts from Jack and Grandad.
Author: Ed Kellie / Illustrators: Jacopo Lanza and Mark Billington
Thank you to Pavilion books for sending us a review copy of Wildlife Jack I want to fly! We learnt several interesting facts while enjoying the story.