There’s something enchanting about birdsong, with the varied calls and sounds echoing from the treetops brightening the day and sparking the imagination.

Book Review

Aaaaw to Zzzzzd by John Bevis

There's something enchanting about birdsong, with the varied calls and sounds echoing from the treetops brightening the day and sparking the imagination.

A brilliant insight into the birds behind the songs is provided by a book that also happens to have one of the best titles of the year.

Aaaaw to Zzzzzd is a handy little volume in which author John Bevis has drawn together a wonderful array of bird 'talk' as translated by writers and ornithologists across the ages.

From complex, beautiful songs to simple repeated strains, each is captured and identified in a way that is both practical to use (just whose tweeting is it waking you up so early each morning?!) and fun to ramble through.

Whether attempting the simple hoo hoo-hoo of an owl or braving the more ambitious kdddrrddi of the summer tanager, just reading the songs and calls aloud will leave you smiling.

As well the charming dictionary of bird calls, the book takes a look at the way we've interacted with our feathery neighbours over the centuries.

From the famous writers who've borrowed bird song to make their novels and poems sound a little sweeter, to the musical instruments created to mimic the tweets and trills heard in gardens far and wide, this sweetly eccentric collection has it all.