Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ten Zany Birds by Sherry Ellis

About the book: Ten zany birds have a party in a tree, singing and dancing. Five have stripes, three have spots, and one has purple polka dots. They're all having fun, but one by one, they become distracted.

One is frightened by a loud plane. One gets hungry. One wants to race and another needs a bath. Only one stays to sing in the tree, but who will it be?

Ten Zany Birds is a fun, beautifully illustrated picture book. As parents and teachers read, children are introduced to counting and basic subtraction skills. Whenever a bird leaves, the number of striped, spotted, and polka-dotted birds changes, teaching the application of simple classification rules.

Whimsical and entertaining, Sherry Ellis's tale of ten silly, distractible little birds is an excellent choice for both prereader storybook time and early readers.
My thoughts: The rhyming, bouncing, lyrical text for Ten Zany Birds flows beautifully and it is obvious that the author has a clear sense of rhythm. I noticed this before I ever discovered anything about the author. When I looked more into the author's identity, I saw that Sherry Ellis is a professional musician playing the violin, viola, and piano. (See Author information below for more detail)

I found it interesting that this little book not only is a "counting book" but keys the kid's attention to details such as colors, design (purple polka dots, stripes, spots). There is a bit of addition and subtraction as the flighty birds take flight, etc.
I would love to see this book picked up by a larger publishing house with a recording of the Ten Zany Birds words set to music. Perhaps a bit more can be factored in. With Ms. Ellis' musical skills this could be a great introduction to violin or stringed music for children.

Author information: Sherry Ellis is a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano.  She has appeared as a soloist in Germany, and was a semi-finalist in the 2004 International Viola Competition held in Paris, France.  She is actively involved in the American String Teacher' s Association, and has served terms as Secretary and Vice President of the Ohio String Teacher's Association.  Sherry is the principal violist of the Georgia Philharmonic. Sherry Ellis has always been an inspiration to me as she is an amazing woman,  not only is she a freelance writer and award-winning author, she is a mom and a professional musician.

I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.


  1. Thank you so much for the book review! I will certainly consider setting the text to music.

    1. Sherry - Please let me know when you do. I love opportunities for children to be exposed the violin music

  2. Lovely to see Sherry featured here and of course its a bonus that I get to read some great blogs. Nice to have met you Vera, I've enjoyed my visit.

    1. Nice to meet you, too, Tracy. Do stop by here at Chat With Vera again, soon.

  3. I love the illustration style of this book, and my kids adore lyrical rhyming books, so I'll have to keep it in mind for Christmas presents for sure! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!


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