CM . . . .
Volume V Number 6 . . . . November 13, 1998
In some ways, a bird's takeoff is like that of an airplane. An airplane speeds down a runway so that air will move quickly over its wings to create lift. Just as airplanes drive quickly down runways before leaving the ground, some birds run to gain enough speed to lift off. Other birds do not need to run for takeoff. They flap their wings quickly to create lift.With words such as air current, lift, stall, thrust and streamlining, it's easy to think of an airplane, but the terms also refer to birds. Part of the "Birds Up Close" series, How Birds Fly offers a closeup look at avian flight - how birds take off, turn, hover, glide, and how they make the all important landing. Some interesting similarities and differences between birds and airplanes are even discussed. Several terms are introduced and bolded within the text. New terminology is extensive, and, consequently, "Words to Know" is given an entire page in which to list terms and definitions. Unfortunately, pronunciations are not provided despite the inclusion of some difficult words such as "archaeopteryx." A table of contents, as well as an index, is included. Although several concepts are introduced, they are explained in brief with well labelled paragraphs and an abundance of diagrams and photographs. Clearly labelled and spread throughout the book, the diagrams cover such varied topics as evolution, anatomy, bone structure, and streamlining. Photographs are plentiful and impressive, capturing birds in mid flight and reinforcing points made within the text. The book manages to pack a lot of information into 32 pages without becoming confusing or unclear.
Mother of two, Shannon Nesdoly is an education student at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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