FEATHERS FOR LUNCH – by Lois Ehlert
The book Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert introduces us to a curious and hungry-for-lunch cat who is out looking for some spicy treat to munch… more specifically, a bird who sure looks good to eat.
The hungry cat is not picky. No, sir. He’s on the prowl for something wild, not something tame and mild!
The hungry cat goes after an American Robin, a Blue Jay, a Northern Cardinal, a House Wren, a Red-Headed Woodpecker, a Red-winged Blackbird, a Northern Oriole, a Mourning Dove, a Northern Flicker, a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, a House Sparrow and an American Goldfinch… but catches nothing but feathers for lunch!
The delight of the story is that the cat’s bells jingle, signaling the many birds that he’s near… and the cat can’t fly or soar up to the tree branches to catch his lunch.
In the end, the many birds outsmart the cat because they know what their wings are for.
But what is the real tweet-tweet in real-life on THE LUNCH THAT GOT AWAY ? Here are a few little tidbits to pass along to your kids and grandkids to combine literature and life:
– The shape of a bird’s wing is known as an airfoil.
– When a bird flaps its wings, air is pushed downward and produces an opposite force that lifts the bird into the air.
– The forward motion of a bird flapping its wings is known as the thrust.
– Upward movements of air are known as thermals. Many birds rely on thermals for gliding, rather than flapping wings.
– Landing is more difficult than take-off. Birds must decrease wing beat and allow gravity to help pull it to the ground.
– Birds “bank” as they turn, tilting one wing higher than the other.
Ah. Birds’ wings in real-life.
Reading the story of the cat and the lunch that got away with your kids and grandkids, with a little knowledge of birds’ wings in real-life, gives you so much to discuss… and your kids so much to think about as they embrace the literature.
*Feathers for Lunch gives us a great opportunity to talk with our kids about creatures and their prey… and built-in defense mechanisms. In this case, its the birds’ wings that give them the escape from the hungry-for-lunch cat!
(*There’s also a wonderful addendum on the last couple of pages that lists each bird in the story, with information on Size, Food, Home and Area of each bird… and all birds illustrated in the book are portrayed as life-size.)
Join me here each day in August for AUGUST TWEET-TWEETS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and a bit of “tweet-tweet”!