I am always on the look out for stories on a natural history theme to use in the classroom, so was delighted to receive this delightful story about the first inland colony of kittiwakes in Newcastle.
Written by John Miles with beautiful illustrations by Barry Robson, the book tells the story of a colony of kittiwakes who start to nest on the Premier Hotel in Gateshead.
A story is often a brilliant way to engage children with a natural history topic and this book has lots of scope for that. Not only does it introduce the kittiwake to children, but also tells of the birds' life cycle and way of life in an easy to understand and engaging way.
Following their story from their arrival, through courtship, nesting and raising a family, this beautifully illustrated book teaches the reader all about the kittiwake and how this colony chose to use Newcastle as their breeding ground. Wonderful synergies between the young kittiwake’s black and white plumage and the Newcastle United football team strip, adds to the appeal of this book… particularly to those who live in the area!
I would definitely use this book in school, as I could pull out lots of learning opportunities, including life cycles and adaptation as well as introducing children to a bird they are unlikely to be familiar with.
I was pleased to hear that there are a couple more books planned to the future, focusing on different bird species; Screamer the swift, Mavis the song thrush, Horus the peregrine and Tony the tawny owl. Stories are a great way to introduce children to the natural world and these will be on my classroom book shelf!
Kitty the Toon is now available on Amazon… if you have a young naturalist in your family, it might be just what you are looking for!