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The Journey: Stories of Migration Hardcover – February 1, 2006

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5–Rylants clear descriptions are matched with expansive, semi-realistic paintings of different animals and the terrain through which they travel. Locusts, monarch butterflies, gray whales, American silver eels, caribou, and Arctic terns are presented as ...miracles in motion. Rylant mentions the incomplete understanding of science about how animals navigate the extreme distances and habitat shifts in their complex journeys. There are no maps depicting routes or location. Often, they are stated in broad terms: the gray whales go from the Arctic Circle down the west coast to Mexico, and the monarchs go from the northern United States and Canada down to California or Mexico on the one coast or Florida on the other with no specific southern locations. The Sargasso Sea, where the eels begin life, the tundra of the caribou, or the unspecified African regions invaded by the locusts may be dim realities for some readers. No acknowledgment of scientific sources is offered. Most of the animal portraits are reasonable approximations (the enlarged, hard-edge locusts have a mechanical feel), and the realistic stories will be enjoyed by those who favor books about real animals. They will also serve well as read-aloud introductions to classroom units on migration.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. This large-format book begins with a brief introduction to animal migration before relating six tales of migration. These are not individual journeys, but narratives relating the migratory habits of six species: the desert locust, the blue whale, the American silver eel, the monarch butterfly, the caribou, and the Arctic tern. Each highly illustrated chapter follows a species through a round-trip cycle of its travels, describing how and why the trip is made as well as life along the journey. Well matched with Rylant's measured prose, Davis' paintings offer clearly delineated, well-composed views of the animals in different stages of growth and habitats. Throughout the book, Rylant conveys a strong sense of the difficulties faced by the animals and an appreciation of migration as "one of the wonderful mysteries on this earth." With large print and many clear illustrations, this book would be equally effective for independent reading or sharing with a school class. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: The Blue Sky Press (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590307177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590307178
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian, I have discovered fabulous storybooks. However, a greater thrill is finding the fabulous informational book for young readers! "The Journey: Stories of Migration" is an incredible blend of narrative and illustrations to present to the child a celebration of "the perfection of the natural world and the wonder of its many mysteries" (front bookflap).

Awe-inspiring is an apt word to describe the migrations of locusts, baleen (gray) whales, eels, monarch butterflies, caribou, and the incredible terns.

Grasshoppers in Africa become locusts when there is not enough food. They swarm by the billions and eat every scrap of plant life in their migration. They cause death and destruction everywhere they go.

Do you know that baleen whales feed singly or in pairs in the cold waters of the North Pole? Then they seek each other out until large groups gather together to swim 6000 miles to California and Mexico to give birth and hang out in the warm waters until it is time to return to the Arctic again.

Eels born around the seaweed of the Sargasso Sea look like clear leaves, which then float out to the Atlantic Ocean to the East Coast where the females will head into fresh water of American rivers and the males will hang out in the salty waters of the coastal regions. Then they all swim back to the Sargasso Sea to mate, produce, and die. And the life cycle repeats itself.

One thing about monarchs: they lay eggs and feed only on milkweed, making their taste repulsive to birds. A true natural defense! The caribou, like whales, feed in the North singly or in pairs. When it is time to head south for the winter to the forests, caribou start showing up to join forces to keep wolves at bay.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cbardoe on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful pictures, beautiful text. Cynthia Rylant is lyrical in describing nature's organisms. These animal stories emphasize the diversity of nature and some of the curiosities of animal behavior that can really grab the imagination and encourage further questioning.

By the way, the two previous reviews are inaccurate. Rylant does mention monarchs in Mexico and her timetable for the migration doesn't conflict with the presence of monarchs in Iowa in Sept. or in Texas in Oct. The book is accurate on these points.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erin VINE VOICE on November 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Here is an informational book for kids that doesn't get bogged down with boring text or impossible vocabulary. Rylant manages to explain the scientific facts in a storybook style that kept me reading. I also enjoyed the big, boldly colored illustrations that didn't try to pack too much in, but simply allowed the reader to become acquainted with the animal and get a sense of their surroundings.

My problem with the book, however, was the lack of maps. It would seem like a no-brainer to have a small map somewhere within each story that would trace the journey of each creature and help the reader visualize their movements more accurately. Or at the very least the endpapers could have contained a large map with the routes of all the creatures outlined in different colors.

Overall this is a good book to get kids interested in the marvels of the animal world, but it is missing one aspect that would have greatly enhanced the "wonder factor" and the educational value... maps!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Downs on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In typical Rylant style - she has taken non-fiction material and made it really attractive to the 3rd through 5th graders - although it is still appropriate for a "read-to" session for younger kids as well. Illustrations are captivating. You don't even realize it's a science lesson until you're finished!
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