Cover of Knowing the Name of a Bird by Jane Yolen

Knowing the Name of a Bird

Creative Editions; Illustrated edition (August 18, 2020)
Illustrated by Jori van der Linde
ISBN-10: 1568463499
ISBN-13: 978-1568463490

This began as an interesting quote I read in a birding magazine, moved on to a poem (I write a poem a day and send them out to over 1,000 subscribers) and at last-with some additions and fiddling– a picture book with my favorite publisher of truly elegant books, Creative Editions.


What reviewers have said:

  • Yolen’s text reads almost like a poem … and all is about how we (as humans) have a limited capacity to truly understand the communication of birds — and how we often reduce birds by defining them with the names we use for them. ‘A bird’s name is not what it is,’ the book opens, ‘but what we call it.’ At the book’s close, we’re reminded that birds go by many names … But, we are also reminded, birds won’t answer to the names we give them — ‘only its song.'” —Jules Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
  • “Poet Jane Yolen explores the difference between what we call birds, and what birds are and do. A bird’s name, she points out, is not the same thing as an actual bird. A bird’s name is not the same thing as ‘the exact blue of its neck.’ A bird’s name ‘tells you little about the build of its nest.’ Jori van der Linde’s poster-like illustrations, worked in pen and Photoshop, are both realistic and stylized.” —Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune


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