Monday, March 17, 2008

Young Birder's Guide!

Monday, March 17, 2008
Last Friday I finally got to do something I've been waiting to do for nearly three years.

I went to Salem Liberty Elementary School, to Phoebe's class and passed out copies of The Young Birder's Guide to all the kids who helped me create the book. The kids, now in sixth grade, started working with me when they were fourth graders.

Before handing out the books, we reviewed all the stuff we'd done and studied since the project started. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

The local newspaper, The Marietta Times sent reporter Kate York and photographer Mitch Casey to cover the event, and it was the lead story on the front page of the Saturday edition!

Our local TV station, WTAP, sent Allison Rhea, a one-woman reporter/camera operator. Her very nice report, which aired on the evening news on Friday, can be viewed online here.

The biggest thrill for me was opening the box of books and handing them out to the class. The kids pored over the pages, looking for their names in the acknowledgments, pointing to the photos of the class out bird watching, checking the species they'd worked on . . .

The first gander at the new book! Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

Julie (who did a black-and-white illustration for each of the 200 species) was there and we both signed the kids' books. I then asked all the kids to sign my copy as well as the one we were placing in the school's library.

Mrs. Booth the school librarian accepted a copy of the YBG from Phoebe for the Salem-Liberty library. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

It was a great feeling to see the kids enjoying the finished product of our collective effort over such a long time.

Phoebe at the book party. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

Through it all Phoebe was beaming. And so was her dad.

For more information on The Young Birder's Guide, see my January 10, 2008 post here in BOTB. The publisher, Houghton Mifflin, has a description of the book here.

Interested in getting a copy of The Young Birder's Guide? Ask your local bookstore about it-- most stores should have copies of the book in stock in about a week. The online bookstores have it, too.

Bird Watcher's Digest
is taking advance orders for the book and I will happily inscribe a copy to the young birder in your life.


On March 17, 2008 at 5:37 PM Anonymous said...

How exciting to have a new and improved young birder's guide for my kids! Can't wait to see it. Good work, BOTB. You da' best.

On March 17, 2008 at 6:29 PM The People History said...

That must have provided you with so much pleasure and it is great to get children involved in Bird Watching not just for the hobby but also because with Bird Watching comes a love of nature and more caring for our under pressure earth


On March 17, 2008 at 6:41 PM NatureWoman said...

This is totally awesome Bill! I bet the kids were really excited.

On March 17, 2008 at 7:01 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

May your sales be insane
Your book signings endless

On March 17, 2008 at 7:46 PM Texas Travelers said...

Great !! Great !! Great !! A worthy achievement. has it for pre-order.

On March 17, 2008 at 7:51 PM KatDoc said...

What is the age range for this book, Bill? My young birder is my boss' 4 year old daughter, whose Life List includes House Finch, Cardinal, "chicky-birds" and "Those bad birds we have to yell at because they steal all the food." (starlings)


On March 17, 2008 at 7:59 PM egretsnest said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I want to weep! North Eastern Birds? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I was going to buy 3 copies -- for my son, my daughter, and my classroom. But, we are in California. Sigh.

Best of luck! I hope the book sells out so that you'll do a West Coast version! PLEASE!!!!!

On March 17, 2008 at 8:44 PM mon@rch said...

How exciting that this book is out! I will be getting a copy and for sure make sure all the young naturalist that I work with will get the book also! Congrats on an amazing job your team did with this book!

On March 17, 2008 at 10:44 PM Mary said... You are wonderful, Bill.

I want a copy for myself - no matter my age :o) Can't wait to have it!

Congratulations for sharing so much, big heart.

On March 18, 2008 at 6:46 AM Jayne said...

It's like giving birth to a baby, isn't it? Oh the anticipation!! So wonderful that the kids who helped with it were the first to eat it up. I know Phoebe was so proud of her dad, and we are too! A book that will seduce another generation into the best hobby in the world. Priceless.

On March 18, 2008 at 8:39 AM Anonymous said...

Bill, this is really cool! You are the King of birding promotion, and deserve a medal. All of those kids are probably not only going to be tied into birds for the rest of their lives, many of them will no doubt go on to influence their peers to take up an interest in nature. Some may even write their own book about birds, someday. It would have been easier to just write the book, and that's probably what most authors would have done, but taking the time and having the creativity to insert those students into the process is just about as cool as producing the book itself!

You are a gentleman and a scholar, and here's hoping the new book sells like hotcakes!

Jim McC

On March 18, 2008 at 10:31 AM Peter said...

Hi Bill I have been a fan of your blog for awhile. I would like to post a link to your Young Birder Story on our blog. With a permanent link on the side under "Gift For Young Birders" if this is O.K. with you.You can check out our blog at: Http:// it's call, Its About the Journey and is about Birding, nature and photography. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and good luck with your book, I think it what has been needed for a long time.

On March 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

There's not a photo in the bunch where Phoebe isn't radiating pride and joy in her big ol' daddy. Even as she tries to talk him into taking her and a bunch of other gigglers to the mall...

I was smiling so hard my cheek kept pressing the AV button on my camera.

Jim, do you think Pied Piper of Birdwatching is an apt title? Or should we just stick with King of All Media?

On March 18, 2008 at 6:22 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Thanks to all for the kind words. I am really happy with how the book came out and how it's been received thus far.

Regarding the word Eastern in the title, it's a slight misnomer. Almost 70 percent of the 200 species in it are also found in the West. I did not want to pass this book off as being as good for western birders, so the name Eastern was appended to it.

I do hope there will be enough interest that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher, will want to do a western version. And I look forward to covering birds like Steller's jay and tufted puffin!

On March 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM Anonymous said...