Cover of Wild WIngs by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple

Wild Wings

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

See Jason’s description of this book.

Available in hardcover.