top of page

Members Area

Recent Photos

National Wildlife Federation's World of Birds: A Beginner's Guide

Did you know that the magpie is the only bird

known to recognize itself in the mirror?

And the mockingbird can imitate up to 35 bird species?

 These fascinating facts and many others can be found in Kim Kurki’s first book,National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide in which she describes over 120 birds. Her "sense of wonder" about the natural world is the source of this fun and informative introduction to some of our most common birds.

Kim Kurki’s love of nature was nourished in her childhood as she spent countless hours outside, exploring woodlands & creeks, swamps & ponds, and open fields near her home. These experiences provide inspiration for her most creative work. For 35 years, her numerous fine-art illustrations have focused on the natural world. For over 8 years, she wrote and illustrated for National Wildlife Federation’s Your Big Backyard magazine creating a monthly page called "Explore the Big Outdoors." This award-winning column featured birds, animals, and plants that children can find in "their own backyards."

World of Birds has evolved from that collection of work. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal for ages 7-12, it is the first in a series of books introducing the natural world to young readers (and curious adults!)


“This introductory guide is a smorgasbord of information about the more common species of birds…Each spread profiles one bird with a magazine-style patchwork of interesting facts, trivia and even poems. The pages include fascinating tidbits and key characteristics of the featured bird and other related birds…Kurki’s attractive and colorful illustrations and the wealth of information in this unusual bird book will encourage children to observe the birds around them.”                                            -Kirkus Reviews/May 2014

“In colorful, dynamic two-page spreads, Kurki introduces a flock of common birds to fledgling birdwatchers. Each spread features a detailed illustration of a bird, along with facts and figures about the bird’s behaviors and where it can be found, as well as a cadre of similar birds…Although the information is handy enough on its own, including brief, easy-to-memorize couplets describing a notable feature of each bird’s anatomy or behavior,

it’s Kurki’s lovely, eye-catching almanac-style page design that makes this stand out. Each bird is drawn with enough distinctive detail to make it instantly recognizable but still cartoonish enough to be welcoming. The wide range of easily spotted birds arranged by order of their most common habitats means that even the most inexperienced birdwatcher shouldn’t have to look too far before finding a feathered friend in his or her own neighborhood.”-Sarah Hunter, Booklist/June 2014

  “Upwards of 120 representative birds of the world are described in colorful two-page entries, arranged in sections by habitats…The introduction describes such traits as size, behavior, feet, legs and bills, plumage, and songs and calls for beginning birdwatchers to notice. These and other traits (especially prey and eating habits) are touched upon in each entry. Bright, full-color illustrations invite both new and experienced birders to read the attractively arranged facts…Fun and informative, this title will be a popular and valuable addition to library collections.” –Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA/School Library Journal/June 2014

  “…Fascinating facts feather this almanac of over one hundred birds, offering hours of aviary education. Young ornithophilics will enjoy the accurate and friendly illustrations, engaging biologic and cultural trivia, and immersive layout of each two- page spread.” –Foreward Reviews/Summer 2014


Kim Kurki’s “National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner's Guide recently won a gold medal Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best Nonfiction Publication: Animals/Pets, November 2014

Kim Kurki’s “Explore the Big Outdoors” column from National Wildlife Federation’s Your Big Backyard magazine, on which this book is based, won Best Department/Column in a Pre-school Publication, from the AEP (Association of Educational Publishers), 2009

Additional Info

 Scholastic has adopted World of Birds as part of its book fair offerings for students.

National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide by Kim Kurki is available the publisher's website:

And at the NWF website:

Also at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound websites

Please consider patronizing your local bookstore.

Kim is available for presentations at schools, libraries, and adult events.                       See Presentation page.       

A native of Bucks County, Kim currently resides in Penns Park, PA. She surrounds herself with native plants and wildflowers and shares the property with many wild creatures that provide inspiration and delight.


bottom of page