Cover of Fine Feathered Friends by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple

Fine Feathered Friends

After having done WILD WINGS with Jason’s bird photographs–which won a National Wild Life Book award–I realized that he still had many gorgeous bird photos left over. Not only that, each time I went to South Carolina to visit (his baby twins, not Jason and his lovely wife Joanne, of course, being the pull!) he had even more bird photos. Time to think of a new bird book, I decided. It took two years, many photos, and many poems later, but it’s finally out. My favorite poem, I think, is the final one for the woodpecker. But my favorite photos are of the puffed-up roadrunner and the one of the winter dove sitting on the barbed wire fence.

See Jason’s description of this book.


  • Honor Book for the Massachusetts Book Award 2005; Children’s Literature Choice List 2005

What reviewers have said:

  • “Stemple and Yolen have once again pooled their significant talents. Each spread consists of a large, clear full-color photo of a single bird in the wild and a poem that describes its appearance, habits, or eccentricities. . .Yolen has successfully used a variety of poetic styles. Her words are carefully chosen; her phrases often create clever images. . . .This lovely collection can be used to spur creativity or to provide a multisensory experience.”–School Library Journal
  • “Yolen invites readers to examine the photographs and read about the animals, encouraging them to write their own poems in response, thus pairing poetic expression with scientific observation. The author’s success in doing so makes clear and powerful the similarities between writers and scientists; both observe and note carefully. Using poetry to write about these animals will force students to think about their defining characteristics, to distill what they know about them, and relate the essence of these creatures in a poem. Students will be eager to take or find photographs on other topics, research them, and write their own verses.”–School Library Journal article “What’s A Nice Poem Like You Doing in a Place Like This” by Alexa Sandman
  • “A beautiful and fascinating glimpse into birdlife! Young readers will enjoy learning about birds with these delightful poems and amazing photographs. Explore the lives of red-winged blackbirds, pelicans, doves, juncos, gambels, ravens and more. The photographs have captured these amazing birds in such a way you feel the bird is right there in front of you.” — Kidsbookshelf
  • “… features poetry by Jane Yolen and photos by Jason Stemple that will fascinate any youngster 10 to 12 years of age. These two talented people have teamed up for a series of books that you can learn about by visiting This book will awaken the bird watcher in any youngster.” — Bookviews