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Growing Up Humming Paperback – November 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480165220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480165229
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Spinak began photography in 1998. He's been writing since he was young. Lifelong passions for travel nature and creative expression developed into a lifestyle and career in photography and writing. He photographs landscapes, wildlife, flora, fungi, patterns - anything and everything nature. He uses naturalist knowledge to find subjects and themes which people rarely see; then uses photography and writing to share his experiences with others. He aspires to show people the beauty and wonder of the natural world, so that they may feel kinship with nature. His nature photography studio is wherever he finds himself with a camera and nature's largesse.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
69
4 star
11
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1
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See all 81 customer reviews
The pictures are beautiful & it's very well written!
Karen Bonsell
"Growing up Humming" by Mike Spinak is a delightful story about an Anna's Hummingbird raising her two young.
Sharon Jeannette
This is a lovely children's book that adults will enjoy.
Amelia Gremelspacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Reeves-McMillan on November 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mike Spinak, who I know on Google+, asked me to review his book Growing Up Humming, and gave me free access to a PDF copy in order to do so. He made it clear that he wasn't asking for a favourable review and that I shouldn't pull any punches, but call it as I see it.

Since, as he's surely aware if he's read many of my reviews, that's exactly what I do, I considered his request showed chutzpah. But is it still chutzpah if the book is genuinely really good?

Growing Up Humming is brilliant. Mike is a nature photographer, and a very fine one, as I already knew from seeing his photos posted on G+. He captures the maturation of two hummingbird chicks beautifully, so beautifully that I kept wondering, "How does he get these shots?"

But it's not just the photography that's good. His accompanying text is aimed at a young audience, but I, as an adult, found it both entertaining and educational. Not only did it teach me a lot about Anna's hummingbirds, but it has a subtext about growing up, being taken care of by a parent, learning from her, and then becoming self-sufficient, that while plentifully clear wasn't at all heavy-handed. It arose naturally from the description of what was going on with the hummingbird family, and made the book more than just a recitation of hummingbird facts (interesting though those were).

What's more - and this is something I bang on about a lot, as you know if you follow my reviews - the editing is flawless. It's a brief text, but I didn't spot a single error of grammar, punctuation or spelling. That should be something we can take for granted, but it very much is not (even in books produced by large corporate publishers, these days), and I appreciate it on the increasingly-rare occasions when I find it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
I wasn't exactly overjoyed when author Mike Spinak sent me an unsolicited copy of "Growing Up Humming," since I already had a very long queue of books on my Kindle to be reviewed. But after flipping through a few pages, I was hooked. The photography and text are superb, depicting the fascinating story of two newborn hummingbirds as the mother feeds them and prepares them to fly off on their own. There's some added drama with one of the two youngsters being reluctant to leave the safety of the nest.

One of my summer pastimes is watching our neighborhood hummingbirds feed on a flowering lantana and a hummingbird feeder that we have next to the lantana. I photograph them often, and I'm proud of some of the shots that I've taken, but I was blown away with the quality of the author's remarkable images of the young hummingbirds as they developed and interacted with their mother. The imagery and text work perfectly together to tell a great story. The book is being marketed primarily as a children's book, but in my opinion, it's just as appealing to grownups who love nature stories.

Kudos to Mike Spinak for an extraordinary book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ionia Martin TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Recently I have seen a lot of nature related books for kids. There is absolutely no comparison to this one. The photos in this book are so wonderful that you forget you are looking at a picture at all, it almost seems as though you are there. I appreciated the non-intrusive way the author told the story. This was a book about humming birds, not a book about how he feels about humming birds. Since the author kept his own opinions out of the book and told a simple story of nature and the process by which a humming bird grows from egg to adult, the photos were allowed to do most of the speaking, which enhanced the pleasure of the experience for me.

I got a real sense during the course of reading this book, that the author has a true passion for nature and the planet and I was able to get lost in this completely. I shared this book with my children and they were simply fascinated. They also learned some things that they didn't know before, (as did I.) This book was a wonderful experience to share with my kids and I couldn't think of an age group that would be immune to the charm of these baby birds and this amazing book. By far, this is the best nature book I have seen. I feel great about recommending this to anyone, it is so worth the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd on November 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
I give this 4 stars. Overall the contents of the book are very well captured. I'm a photographer myself and really inspires me on the behavior characteristics of wildlife. The only reason for the 4 stars is that I thought it would have been nice to have the entire book done glossy. I've come to understand unfortunately this is because Amazon only has the option of a matte format. Overall very well done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nataliya Field on January 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
What a lovely book.

Shame my four year old went to sleep just as I cracked open the pdf to take a look at it.

Mike contacted me through a contact asking me to consider leaving a completely honest review, if I wanted to, while attaching a low-res pdf version of the book to the request. He also was adamant that I would call it as I saw it.

Well here it is:

If that was low-res photos, I am itching to get my hands on the real thing.

Just like some of the other reviewers mentioned - I can't comment on how good the book looks and feels in my hands, but I can honestly say the photos are absolutely gorgeous. The story itself is wondrous - Mike simply wrought words from inspiration that the hummingbirds gave him.
Prose felt natural and the birds nearly fluttered off the screen.
It was also fairly short and very informative, chock full of neat facts that I enjoyed learning and will enjoy passing on to my curious children.

So a resounding thumbs up - I will definitely own this book in near future. If not for my munchkins - though I know they'll love this book, then for myself and my husband - for we are avid lovers of nature :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Mike Spinak began photography in 1998. He's been writing since he was little. Lifelong passions for travel, nature, and creative expression developed into a lifestyle and career in photography and writing.

He photographs landscapes, wildlife, flora, fungi, patterns - anything and everything nature. He uses naturalist knowledge to find subjects and themes that people rarely see; then uses photography and writing to share his experiences with others. He aspires to show people the beauty and wonder of the natural world, so that they may feel a kinship with nature.

His nature photography studio is wherever he finds himself with a camera and Nature's largesse.

He's the author and photographer of Growing Up Humming, and has more books coming soon.