- Age Range: 2 - 4 years
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Dial; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (April 14, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803725612
- ISBN-13: 978-0803725614
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swan Harbor: A Nature Counting Book Hardcover – April 14, 2003
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-In a preface, Rankin invites readers to tour the Maine coast, her home. From sea roses to sandpipers and lobsters, she provides 20 countable plants and animals that almost come to life. A large, legible white numeral is placed at the bottom of each picture; the only text is a word on the border identifying the featured fauna or flora, leaving the acrylic ink-and-paint illustrations to thrive without competition. The subjects of the paintings have a beloved aspect yet lack sentimentality, and perspective and sensibility are reminiscent of the author/illustrator's The Handmade Alphabet (Dial, 1991). Each picture includes a detail that hints at what is to come on the following page, an increasingly common convention in picture books that feels fresh here. A closing spread of a harbor landscape encompasses all of the previously featured living things, and is followed by two pages of "Intriguing Nature Facts" about them. (Who knew eastern cottontail rabbits can leap 10 to 15 feet?) An effective concept book, Swan Harbor is even better as a clean, strong portrait of the coastal Maine environment.
Liza Graybill, Worcester Public Library, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 2. In loving tribute to her home in Maine, Rankin has packed a lot of information into a simple, edifying, and attractive package. The text is very direct. Each page has a number from one to twenty, and the name of the bird, beast, or blossom counted: "1 robin," "3 squirrels," "10 sea roses." Each full-page naturalistic illustration (in acrylic inks and paints) also has an example of the next subject, so a glimpse of the "5 irises" is found on the "4 rabbits" page, and the wings of a dragonfly hover at the edge of the irises just before the "6 dragonflies" appear on the following page. Rankin also carries her images through the season, with the robin in the spring, seashells in high summer, the monarch butterflies in autumn, and the 20 swans in a snowy winter. A panorama of the whole harbor, showing the location of all the figures and the sweep of the seasons, is included, along with a paragraph that describes each animal, insect, or plant. An elegant conceit. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Set in her home state of Maine, Swan Harbor is the safe harbor of swans in winter. Rankin states in her introduction that she once counted sixty-three swans there. In the back of the book the artist lists twenty animals or plants depicted with brief information about each. Here we learn that swans mate for life.
The title page shows a pair of swans, that life pair, and a tugboat heading back to sea. The artwork is not hyper detailed (photorealism), but suggestively detailed, especially close-up objects. Each illustration is quite amazing for its vividness and true-to-life depictions.
In addition to the lovely artwork is the clever introduction of the next item to be counted. The first picture shows one robin bringing a worm to the next item--two sleeping robins. In their picture they are fully awake and engaged in food begging with part of a squirrel showing behind the tree. With three squirrels perched in the tree, the viewer can see a rabbit in the grass. And so on. It's a clever technique. Children will quickly catch on and look for that next item, whether animal or plant.
The last two pages with twenty swans are beautiful. This is a beautiful book. Your child must have this book. Really!
Dedicated to the memory of Linda's mother