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Home » Swingin Bridge Books » Springtime Birds in My Backyard

Springtime Birds in My Backyard

Swingin Bridge Books

Author: Karen Kern Yarrish

Illustrated by David W. Porter

40 Pages, 8 x 10

Library of Congress Control Number: 2017959708

ISBN: 978-1-64042-700-6 (Hardback)

978-1-64042-701-3 (Softback)

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Press Release

HD Cover for Review (link to 300 dpi for download)

Also available at these NEPA bookstores:

Library Express (in the Marketplace at Steamtown) 

Also available at these local NEPA libraries:

Albright Memorial Library (Lackawana County Library System)

Abington Community Library (Lackawanna County Library System)

Dalton Community Library (Lackawanna County Library System)

Miller Library (Keystone College)

About the book:

Springtime Birds in My Backyard combines the beautiful illustrations of David Porter with the rhythm and rhyme of Karen Yarrish’s lush verse. Reading this book aloud lulls both parent and child into the springtime comfort of their own backyard–a familiar space where they both can learn about the sights and sounds of the most common birds in North America.

If this story doesn’t put a big smile on your face, nothing will. Springtime Birds in My Backyard is an imaginative, educational, and delightful way to both introduce children to the natural world that is just outside of their backdoor and to keep them engaged in this wonderful story!  Karen Yarrish’s first-hand knowledge and experience in connecting kids and nature comes through brilliantly in this book. It is a journey filled with just enough natural history to make it resonate with adults and more than enough fun to make it a hit with the kids.

—Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer, Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.

Review from Children’s Bookwatch: February 2018; Midwest Book Review
Written in lilting narrative verse and delicately illustrated in a combination of detailed black and white media with bright colored subjects highlighted, Springtime Birds in My Backyard introduces young readers to a cavalcade of bird species commonly seen in the spring. Some of these include the black -capped chickadee, the mourning dove, the red-winged blackbird, the cardinal, the blue jay, the white breasted nuthatch, the tufted titmouse, the American goldfinch, the ruby-throated hummingbird, and of course, the robin. Careful descriptions of the birds’ different calls are given, and colored portraits help readers to discern differences between the male and the female of different species. A girl, who happens to be African-American, has her questions about the birds answered by her mother, who happens to be Anglo American, offering another model for celebrating diversity and family differences. Additional information about bird’s songs, nesting, and migrating habits is seamlessly offered in this beautiful book. The contrast of black and white detailed ink drawings against brightly colored birds and principal characters delivers further lessons in identity of birds, also implying a profound love of the rich diversity of nature.

Illustrator David W. Porter and Author Karen Kern Yarrish
Photo by Beth Miller


Dr. Karen Kern Yarrish is a professor and coordinator for adult and online learning at Keystone College, her employer since 1998. Karen obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from King’s College, a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Scranton and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Workforce Education and Development from The Pennsylvania State University.

Karen is a nature enthusiast, enjoying hiking, camping, kayaking, and bird watching. Surprisingly, she started feeding birds as a way to entertain her indoor cats. They enjoy watching through the windows. As time went by, she became interested in the type of birds that visited her feeders, their different species, color, songs, and eating habits.  She and her husband Craig owned a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise, a backyard bird feeding nature store, for nine years. One of the many reasons for opening the store included developing and increasing her education and sharing that knowledge with the public. Throughout the years of store ownership, they offered hundreds of free nature-related programs to help others learn and appreciate nature and the fascinating lives of the birds in our own backyards.

David W. Porter is Professor of Fine Art and the Visual Arts Program Coordinator, in the School of Arts and Sciences, at Keystone College. He teaches graphic design, mentors the Keystone Art Society, and advises visual art and art education students. He earned his BFA in Design and Illustration from Tyler School of Art of Temple University and earned his Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Marywood University. He has been a professional artist in the field of publication design for 23 years, having worked for a variety of magazines and newspapers in a range of posts from staff artist to creative coordinator. His published works include black and while illustrations for editorial and social commentaries, color illustrations and page designs for lifestyle topics, graphics for the visual display of quantitative information, illustrations and designs advocating the development and use of renewable energy, and children’s book design and illustration. He teaches graphic design in the context of the American Institute for the Graphic Arts [AIGA] “Design for Good” program. He loves nature, its inner and outer spaces, its lands, seas, and skies, and all its creatures. He is husband to Donna Porter and father to son Jacob Porter and daughter Kaitlin Porter, these comprising his closest family members and to whom he has dedicated this book.