A Peek at Beaks

Tools Birds Use

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Have you ever seen a bird using a jackhammer? What about one scooping up a meal with a net? Of course birds can’t really use tools, at least not the way humans do. But birds have surprisingly helpful tools with them at all times—their beaks!

Guess which birds have beaks resembling commonly used tools in this playful picture book from award-winning author Sara Levine. Delightfully detailed collage artwork by Kate Slater helps this book take flight!

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Expository Literature, Animals
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2021-09-07
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF003030, JNF051150, JNF051130
Dewey 598.14
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 950
Guided Reading Level P
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Sara Levine

Sara Levine is an author, educator, and veterinarian. Her science books for children include the Animal by Animal series, Germs Up Close, and A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use. Her books have received a number of awards including AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize, Utah Beehive Book Award, Cook Prize finalist, Monarch Award master list, and Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year.

Illustrator: Kate Slater

Kate Slater is an artist and illustrator working in mixed media collage. Alongside work for publishing, editorial and advertising clients, Kate designs her own range of gift and homeware and has also created several large scale installations and window displays. Kate studied illustration at Kingston University (2005-2008). She grew up on a beautiful farm in deepest Staffordshire and, after living in London for a few years, returned to her green and muddy roots and now works from her studio at home in Staffordshire, in a room piled high with paper, watched over by her Labrador, Gladys.


  • Sakura Medal Nominee, Nominated, 2023
  • Animal Behavior Society Outstanding Children's Book Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2022
  • Eureka! Children's Book Award, Winner, 2022
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2022


Kirkus Reviews

“[A] guessing game that will engage young readers.”—Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“[A]n entertaining and informative introduction to the world of birds and how they survive and thrive.”—starred, School Library Journal