My family watches birds. It all began with my husband David, who is the original of Pa in OWL MOON. So when our youngest son Jason began his career as a nature photographer, bird pictures were part of his vast repertoire. So why has it taken so long for us to do a book together with bird photographs and poems? For one thing, I had already done a popular collection with illustrations by the brilliant Ted Lewin. (Jason and I both collect Lewin paintings.) The book– BIRD WATCH –dedicated to Jason and David–is still actively in print. But at last I couldn’t resist. You see, he has this close up of a vulture looking out at the viewer with eyes of death. And a closeup of an anhinga with its wings spread out to dry. And this mystical photo of a tree covered with ibis. And…and… So I wrote the poems and Boyds Mills loved it and it is a book. And you can pair it with Bird Watch. After all, I don’t use the same birds or the same poems. A Must Read Book, chosen by Today’s Books, a Public News Service Report to the News Media on the Book Publishing Industry. It won the 2002 Children’s Category National Award for Outdoor Books.
What reviewers have said:
- “… How startling its imagery–especially when paired with exemplary photography … Young readers … will be inspired by one of the genre’s best.” — School Library Journal
- “The pictures are … so sharply focused that each tiny feather on the anhinga’s neck, each lapidary detail of the turkey buzzard’s scarlet head, is plain to see. Yolen writes with terse lucidity … and moments of beauty. Recently hatched ornithologists and fans of Yolen’s Bird Watch hoping for more of the same will warble over this fresh gathering of words and images.” — Kirkus
- “Instead of poems leading to photographs, in this book strikingly lovely photos inspired the poems, resulting in a beautifully integrated, finely designed whole, with poems and photos set to best advantage. Photographer Stemple, Yolen’s son, provides the pictures, which are themselves a sort of visual poetry. … Yolen’s poetry is elegantly spare, with a purity of thought and language that will send readers back to the photo with new eyes, which in turn will inspire them to read the poem again. ” — Booklist
- “Stunning photographs…thought-provoking poems …” — Manchester, Ct. Journal Inquirer
- “Thirty-two pages feature some of our favorite feathered friends in their natural habitats, inspiring us to take a longer look outside our own windows, too. … it’s a book that begs to be left on the coffee table for the whole family to enjoy.” — WonderKorner
- “A literacy feast for older readers, this book presents beautiful and unusual birds in stunning photographs and poetic impressions. Stemple’s unusual photographs invite readers to pore over the double-page spreads and appreciate the characteristic beauty of the birds. Yolen offers a variety of poems, each inspired by her son’s captivating pictures. Scientific names and descriptions of each bird add to the interest of the book.”-Childhood Education
Available in hardcover.
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