The Nest That Wren Built

The Nest That Wren Built
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 10, 2020
Buy This Book
Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to this lyrical picture book depicting how Carolina wrens build a nest for their young.

This is the bark, snippets of twine,
spidery rootlets, and needles of pine
that shape the nest that Wren built.

In the rhyming style of “The House That Jack Built,” this poem about the care and specificity that Carolina wrens put into building a nest is at once tender and true to life. Papa and Mama Wren gather treasures of the forest, from soft moss for a lining to snakeskin for warding off predators. Randi Sonenshine’s lilting stanzas, woven with accurate and unexpected details about Carolina wrens, and Anne Hunter’s gentle, inviting illustrations reveal the mysterious lives of these birds and impart an appreciation for the wonder of the life cycles around us. Back matter includes a glossary and additional interesting facts about wrens.

Editor review

1 review
elegant and educational
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
THE NEST THAT WREN BUILT is a lovely journey through the process of building a nest to hatchlings who leave the nest. The book uses poetic language to describe the many steps along the way from twigs to spider egg sacks to snakeskin to tufts of rabbits fur and beyond. The book takes on an educational element in describing the things included in the nest as well as the reasons for their inclusion. The end of the book includes interesting facts to augment the learning experience.

What I loved: The illustrations are elegant, like looking through an old field guide. The text is really lovely and poetic and it easily rolls off the tongue when read aloud. The text-to-picture ratio is ideal without any densely worded pages, and the font is clear and easy to read. The inclusion of factual steps with reasons behind them all the way through to the eggs and hatchlings who live in the nest presents a great learning opportunity with sequential order, facts about birds, and details about nature.

This would be a great book in a classroom setting with plenty of things to learn and beautiful illustrations to admire. There are plenty of activities that could arise such as imagining how children would build their nests, adding to the poem (imagining what would come next), etc. This would be great picture book to spark discussion among young learners.

Final verdict: Educational and lovely, THE NEXT THAT WREN BUILT is a great learning experience through the process of building a nest through to the birds who are born there. Highly recommend in a classroom setting and/or just to explore and learn at home.
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