From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-London's minimal, poetic text allows children to assume the role of wildlife observers in the willow ptarmigan's world. Van Zyle's artwork adds details of the bird's habitat and climate in the far north through striking double-page acrylic paintings and inset acrylic-on-watercolor-paper field sketches. These paintings evidence a looser, more active style than those in some of the artist's previous works. However, some children may find the lynx that is hiding behind a snowbank a bit wolflike and the depiction of a grizzly bear below the high standard of Van Zyle's cavorting fox, prowling wolf, and the many ptarmigan depicted in their seasonally changing plumage. However, the overall mesh of text and illustration will make this handsomely designed work a worthy addition to libraries in which books on wildlife are popular and a must-have for fans of the duo's previous work. An endnote provides information suitable for reports or a follow-up for the curious. James Guenther's Turnagain Ptarmigan! (Sasquatch, 2000) covers much of the same territory for a slightly younger audience. Both books feature illustrations that create an authoritative picture of ptarmigan terrain.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK
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