London and Rodanas trace a season in a cygnet’s life, from the baby swan’s first look at its looming parents after the eggshell has cracked open in the spring through its first migration in winter. While this book about North American trumpeter swans is packed with facts, they are never overwhelming, because of the tight hold London has on the cygnet’s point of view and the time line of the first year. Two days after birth, the baby swan and its siblings slide into the water; 10 days later, they imitate the parents’ “bottoms up” technique for scavenging for food; in fall, their flight feathers grow in. Rodanas’ double-page illustrations—colored pencil over watercolor wash—lend gentle illumination to the swan family’s progress, including a downright scary spread showcasing a thwarted grizzly bear attack. London and Rodanas have teamed up before for a study of the habits of wild birds, in Flamingo Sunset (2008). Preschool-Grade 3. --Connie Fletcher
About the Author
Author Jonathan London is the author of more than seventy children’s books. Many of his titles, including The Eyes of the Gray Wolf
, are about nature. He’s also the author of the popular Froggy series. He lives in northern California with his wife and two sons.
Illustrator Kristina Rodanas, a former art teacher, lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She often walks on the beach, looking at birds and searching for shells. She has illustrated a number of books, including The Story of the Blue Elk by Gerald Hausman and The Blind Hunter, which she also wrote.