By: Leila Jeffreys
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: October 2015
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 1, 2016
How do you review a book that, with the exception of the backmatter, is a 10 x 12 coffee table book stuffed full of stunning photos of various birds, brimming with personality, but no text, save the name of the bird and its common and Latin names? You simply share your thoughts and spread the word so other bird lovers will get their hands on the book.
Bird Love is chock-full of portraits of birds of all types, from a gray falcon to a tiny budgie. Rather than photograph the birds in their natural habitats, photographer Leila Jeffreys chose to take portraits of numerous birds who live primarily in Australia in various rehabilitation, breeding and rescue centers. Thus the backdrop in every photo is a simple off-white background. The bird on the page is the only thing you see – and your eyes won’t be able to look away.
While many birds are photographed from the side or front, Jeffreys uses several shots that focus on the back of the bird. With these photos, you can see each feather, in all its detail, which is quite amazing. Every bird clearly shows off its unique personality in their portrait, from the Western barn owl chick who looks like he has a lot of “’tude” to the Australasian gannet with the hysterical expression. The photographs in Bird Love prove that every bird is an individual.
At the back of the book is a “List of Works” that has information on each bird in the book. It was quite interesting to learn the birds’ backstories. One of the photographs in the book was of a magpie on its back, feet straight up in the air. At first I thought, ‘oh, no, it died!???’ I was relieved to read in the back that the magpie, affectionately named ‘Penguin,’ liked rolling onto his back to get his tummy rubbed. All is well in the world of Penguin the magpie! If you’re looking for a stunning, eye-catching book for your coffee table, get a copy of Bird Love - it will impress your friends and keep you entertained for many hours.
Quill says: If you’re a bird lover, you really do need to get this book. You’ll love it, promise!