Thursday, May 26, 2022
May 26, 2022

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Check It Out: ‘12 Days of Christmas’ series continues with birds, gold rings


My Twelve Days of Christmas” series continues today with part two: calling birds, gold rings and geese a-laying. It wasn’t until I started to look for books to connect with the traditional Christmas song that I understood the truly fowl-filled lyrics. I sure hope the original recipient of true love’s gifts enjoyed birds because life was going to be filled with feathers and, let’s face it, a lot of bird poop. Personally, I would have been happy with fewer wings and more bling, but that’s just me.

Here’s to another eclectic reading list oh-so-loosely connected with objects four, five and six of this month’s favorite song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Sing on!

“The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think” by Jennifer Ackerman.

If your true love sent you 23 birds for Christmas, would you be prepared? Getting to know your avian holiday gifts can be easier if you add Jennifer Ackerman’s book to your “things-I-need-to-do-to-survive-living-with-23-birds” list.

“The Games: A Global History of the Olympics” by David Goldblatt.

Perhaps you’re wondering how the Olympics connect with part two of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Well, there are five gold rings in the song, and there are five rings in the official Olympic symbol — one of which is yellow (aka gold) — so … all right, just go with it. Coincidentally, the 2022 Winter Olympics begin in February which means rings — and gold medals (gold!) — are right around the corner. Get ready for skiing, figure skating and yes, rings, by reading this tribute to all things Olympic.

“Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guinea Fowl” by Gail Damerow.

All I can say is that if you receive six geese a-laying, you — and the new moms — have some work to do. Maybe the experience will be so inspiring that you’ll add chickens, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowl to your family. Thankfully, Damerow has your back (or wings?) and will guide you through the journey with knowledge and grace. Have a full fowl family life!

“Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The ultimate gold ring, in my opinion, is the one known as “my precious,” a key figure in Tolkien’s trilogy of novels, “Lord of the Rings.” Whether you want to read or view the story, the library has both the books and director Peter Jackson’s trio of films based on the adventures and tribulations of hobbits, men, elves, and others, living in fantastical Middle Earth.

“Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America” by Nathan Pieplow.

While I would be tickled to see a chickadee use his little feet to dial up a friend, I’m very happy that humans are the only species to be so dependent on handheld devices. Here’s my advice: put down your device, go outside and listen to the avian conversations taking place. This book will help you identify who is saying what to whom, bird-wise.

“Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose” written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola.

I’m pretty sure I can’t have geese in my column without including a shout-out to Mother Goose. I grew up with Mother Goose rhymes, which means that I am a firm believer in the magic of MG regardless of age. So, here is an illustrated edition by Tomie dePaola. All ages can enjoy this delightful picture book, but in case you want to know more about Mr. dePaola himself, the library owns “The Worlds of Tomie dePaola: The Art and Stories of the Legendary Artist and Author” by Barbara Elleman. As a relative used to say to me, “Don’t be a silly goose!” which means, loosely translated, go to the library and check out these books.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Email her at


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