Birding for Children
Peabody, Selim Hobart. Cecil’s Book of Birds. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1871.
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Natural histories for children, particularly those about birds, were extremely popular in nineteenth-century America. They ranged from humble pocket-sized chapbooks of 8 pages to this cloth-bound edition of 234 pages. It features wood-engraved plates depicting various species, as in this depiction of hummingbirds hovering together. The description emphasizes that hummingbirds are native to America, showing its young readers that these exotic little creatures await observation just outside one’s window.