Monday, March 11, 2013

Bonus Non-Fiction Monday: The Long, Long Journey: the Godwit's amazing migration

by Sandra Markle. Illustrated by Mia Posada. 32 p. Lerner Publishing Group, April 28, 2013. 9780761356233. (Borrowed)

One of the perks about being a solo librarian who chooses to manually catalog her library's books is seeing the books right out of the box. Smelling the smells, cracking the books for the first time, reading the cover and jacket flaps. I can catalog a book pretty quickly when I put my mind to it, but more often than not, I get sidetracked by reading the first chapter or two. Or three. 

Ditto when my colleague over at the elementary school sends over some of her oversized picture books for me to cover. I usually take a few minutes to zip through the books she sends over. Such was the case this morning when this beauty came through the inter-school courier.

Godwit eggs hatch out in June on the mudflats of Alaska's western shore. They can walk and scrounge for food immediately and eat madly because within four months, by the next change of season, they must have enough body fat to help them make a tremendous migration south the New Zealand. Alone. In September, first the adult females flock and depart, then the adult males. A month later, the young godwits flock and begin the amazing journey. They just know where to go.

Clear, accessible language describes the life of the adorable nestlings. Soft watercolor collages depict the beauty of the environment as well as the dangers. The palette is watery and the collage pieces provide lovely texture. The end-pages feature downy nestling feathers in front and mature feathers at the end. All the illustrations invite the reader to stay awhile on the page.

Lovely addition to any school or public library. Particularly useful in schools where migration is studied. Maps included as are resources, one of which was a Wikipedia citation, which initially caused some chagrin, since we teachers don't allow use of the website in research. However, this was a link to a video of the birds feeding. Unfortunately, neither computer I tried to view it on had the necessary software to run the video.

I  might purchase this one to pair with Moonbird by Philip Hoose. This is a 2013 favorite.

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