Waiting for a Warbler (Hardcover)
In early April, as Owen and his sister search the hickories, oaks, and dogwoods for returning birds, a huge group of birds leaves the misty mountain slopes of the Yucatan peninsula for the 600-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico to their summer nesting grounds. One of them is a Cerulean warbler. He will lose more than half his body weight even if the journey goes well. Aloft over the vast ocean, the birds encourage each other with squeaky chirps that say, “We are still alive. We can do this.”
Owen’s family watches televised reports of a great storm over the Gulf of Mexico, fearing what it may mean for migrating songbirds. In alternating spreads, we wait and hope with Owen, then struggle through the storm with the warbler.
This moving story with its hopeful ending appeals to us to preserve the things we love. The backmatter includes a North American bird migration map, birding information for kids, and guidance for how native plantings can transform yards into bird and wildlife habitat.
About the Author
Science writer Sneed B. Collard III (Missoula, MT; www.sneedbcollardiii.com) is the author of more than 80 children’s books, including One Iguana, Two Iguanasand Catching Air. He has received the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for his body of work, and his books are featured regularly in the Junior Library Guild, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book lists, and other best-of lists.
Thomas Brooks (Rockland, ME) illustrates natural history and wildlife subjects in a variety of mediums, with a focus on combining digital and traditional methods of image making. He has been an exhibit artist and scientific illustrator for several regional parks and nature centers and loves projects that combine education and fine art.
In early spring, Owen and his younger sister, Nora, are outdoors talking about migratory birds in general and watching for her favorite, the cerulean warbler, in particular. The locale shifts from the U.S. or Canada to the Yucatán Peninsula, where many bird species, and one cerulean warbler male in particular, gather and prepare to migrate northward. The narrative traces the path of these birds as they make their way in a tiring migration that includes a perilous 18-hourflight over the Gulf of Mexico. Later, Owen and his family often watch two cerulean warblers as they arrive in spring, nest in a tall backyard tree, hunt for insects, and raise their young. A wildlife painter, Brooks illustrates a variety of subjects skillfully, from close-ups of individual birds to a stormy seascape. The book’s extensive back matter introduces novices to bird-watching and suggests ways of protecting birds. Written with a friendly tone, the text incorporates more facts than most fictional picture books. For kids who enjoy observing birds, here’s an informative introduction to bird-watching.
— Carolyn Phelan - Booklist
Parallel stories converge in this fiction/information picture book on
— EB - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books