The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder

The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder
A Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery

by Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford
Firefly Books, 2019
ISBN 13: 978-0-2281-0190-1
$6.99, 32 pp. ages 4 – 8

The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder is an excellent early primary story to engage young readers in solving a nature mystery. The book and characters are from the CBC show, The Gumboot Kids. Scout and Daisy are mouse friends who enjoy their time outdoors having picnics, listening to birds sing, and gardening. The story creates a nature mystery in which Daisy provides clues for Scout and the reader to solve, allowing them to predict and learn what the growing bird feeders may be. This book lends itself well to prediction, allowing readers to make guesses after each clue. Young readers would also be able to make strong connections to the story with their own experiences.

The field notes at the back of the book provide the reader with information about sunflowers and provide an excellent example of labelling, teaching students how they can label their own diagrams. Detailed facts at an appropriate student level are included in the field notes as well. A step-by-step nature craft is also included at the end of the story. This allows children the opportunity to make their own treats for birds to eat.

Classroom Connections: To build onto outdoor education lessons, students could go on a nature walk and collect a sample of nature. Students could make their own clues and field notes for their samples to share with classmates. A class book could be created with all the clues. Some early research skills could be developed with students to learn interesting facts about other samples of nature. Students would love making the fun nature craft at the back of the book as well.

Review by Cindy Haack.

Editor’s Note: The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder is part of the Gumboots Nature Mystery series. Curriculum guides are available for these titles at: or under “learn”. There is also a set of 6 minute video episodes to go with them.

This review appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine

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