Story, photography, and illustrations by Kathy Mazur
Published by Spring Ducks Books www.springducks.com
Are you one of those creative moms who can paint and sew and fold tiny little paper dolls out of napkins? Or are you like meógreatly impressed by others who can? Either way, you may find yourself truly delighted by Kathy Mazurís cheerful book entitled Itís Springtime in My Backyard.
Ms. Mazur is one of those creative moms. Not only did she write Itís Springtime in My Backyard based upon the experiences of her daughter and some visiting ducks, she photographed the engaging photos throughout the book and illustrated them with colorful little cartoons of her daughter, as well. I am really, really impressed.
Still, as a homeschooling mom with an extensive picture book library for my under-six crowd, I have to really love a book to want to add it to my collection. We have plenty of books that entertain and tell cute stories, but Itís Springtime in My Backyard gives the reader more than a sweet story of a girl and the ducks that visit her backyard each spring. The book also includes two pages of vocabulary and information pertaining to Mallards, plus photos and descriptions of other things found in the yard in spring.
Itís Springtime in My Backyard could be a perfect beginning to a unit study on ducks, nature, and the seasons. The youngest in your homeschool will immediately be drawn to the girl in the story as she is not only illustrated but photographed as well. And donít be surprised if your older ones sneak into the room to hear the story, too. My eight-year-old son peeked over my shoulder and made observations about the photographs (ďWow, they have a nice backyard.Ē)
Later in the day when the book had been largely forgotten, that same boy approached me and said, ďMom, did you know that Mallards use camouflage for defense?Ē I smiled that smile we homeschooling parents have the pleasure of smiling when a child has learned something on his own and then shared it with us. Itís one of the things that encourages me to keep going.
And lest you think the book ends there, I must tell you that a CD comes with it as well. I just love it when a book features a little something extra, and in this case we all enjoyed the authorís daughter reading Itís Springtime in My Backyard. Sheís likely to grow up with a healthy dose of her mamaís creativity.
-Product Review by Kendra Fletcher, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June, 2006