- Age Range: 5 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
- Lexile Measure: 610 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (May 24, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763679666
- ISBN-13: 978-0763679668
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.5 x 10.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Circle Hardcover – May 24, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A lovely and lyrical ode to the migration of the godwits. A boy in bed dreams of flying. He watches from his wheelchair as a flock of godwits begin their northward migration from Australia. Beautifully detailed collages fill the spreads, and the perspectives switch from bird-watcher to bird. Chronicling the 7,000 miles of one of the longest animal migrations, the intricate illustrations and simple text illuminate the arduous journey often made more difficult by human activities. Wispy clouds, floating ice chunks, and wiry foliage all pass beneath the godwits as they near their breeding destination in Alaska, where a hungry fox reduces a pair's four fuzzy chicks to one. As the birds head back to Australia, they pass over dark blue northern waters and blue green tropical seas to the beach where the boy chases his dog, crutches forgotten. An author's note with more information about the migration of godwits and a map are appended. VERDICT Inviting and informative with multiple story levels, this title belongs in every collection.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
A lovely and lyrical ode to the migration of the godwits...Inviting and informative with multiple story levels, this title belongs in every collection.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
In her examination of the life of this globe-circling bird, which belongs to the sandpiper family, the artist’s minutely constructed collage spreads look tranquil when viewed from afar but teem with life close up...It’s hard to imagine a more powerful treatment of migration: Baker conveys the strength of the birds and the fragility of their habitat with equal care.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A visually striking account of godwit migration—pair it with Sandra Markle's similar but more concrete The Long, Long Journey (2013), illustrated by Mia Posada.
Beautifully wrought in text and art, this picture book offers both an introduction to the migration of godwits as well as story of return and renewal...Baker’s stunning artwork, full to bursting with fascinating, realistically rendered detail, utterly steals the show. An appended author’s note and map discusses the godwits’ unique 7000-mile migration path, and advocates for conservation. Informative and eloquent, this will resonate on many levels.
Known for her detailed, lifelike collage (Home, rev. 3/04; Mirror, rev. 1/11), Baker continues to mesmerize viewers. Meticulous illustrations portray the birds in the air and on the ground, up close and at a distance. Her well-paced, informative text follows one godwit’s migration—flying, resting, eating, and breeding.
Mixed-media collage, notably delicate and detailed, incorporate natural materials among finely textured cut paper and paint, and their photographic reproduction conveys a sense of depth...the drama of the bird’s arduous migration is fully engaging in its own right.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
With simple, lyrical text and gloriously detailed, gorgeous collages, an Australian-author illustrator tells the amazing true story of the migration of the bartailed godwits, shorebirds that make the longest unbroken journey of any animal in the world, traveling more than 7,000 miles from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand.
Top customer reviews
Pros: Beautiful collage illustrations capture the various environments inhabited by this remarkable bird.
Cons: A hungry fox eats the other three chicks.
The bulk of the book is on the remarkable godwit and his story of grit and resilience on his journty. Framing that story though is the story of a boy and his recovery, allowing the bird to speak to the importance of endurance and spirit as anyone is facing difficulty. The text is poetic and lush, containing evocative phrasing like “they follow an ancient, invisible pathway” and “One chick hides, crouched and still, disappearing into the colors of the land.”
Baker’s art is simply awe-inspiring. Using collages, she creates entire worlds on the page. The tundra in the Arctic has individual blades of grass that fade into mosses and lichen while the godwit tries to defend his nest against a fox. Other pages capture landmarks like the Great Barrier Reef. There are northern mountain ranges, large cities and southern beaches. The illustrations are incredible.
A noteworthy picture book, this book is filled with information on a remarkable animal accompanied by exceptional illustrations. Appropriate for ages 4-7.