CAN, JP, US, INT)
Written by: Susan Vande Griek
Illustrated by: Karen Reczuch
Published by: Groundwood Books
Published on: August 16, 2011
Living in Japan, timing things for the seasons has become more and more important to me. It probably starts for me with seasonal snacks, like strawberry-flavoured ice cream and kit kats in February and pumpkin-flavoured ones in September (and my favourite, caramel in the winter!) but also due to the flowers that come for so little time all year round, from the plum blossoms in January to rainy season's hydrangeas. I like to find books that are seasonal too, although sometimes the seasons are different in the west than in Japan, such as kite season, which is January in Japan but spring in Canada.
I had no idea that this book would be so perfect for the season. I originally ordered it after seeing that Loon won the Ruth and Sylvia Shwartz Children's Book Award. I thought it would be perfect for my kids who have fake loonies that they play with, to realize that there really are animals called loons which aren't around here.
When it arrived this week I was pleasantly surprised that this book starts the life cycle of the the baby loons right at this time in June! Plus, this is perfect timing as a Canada Day (July 1) book as my kids are much more interested in Canadian animals than Confederation. But the best is that it arrived right after it was announced that it was nominated for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, and is the only picture book to be so honoured!
The book itself is about the life cycle of loons in poem form. Two little grey loons are born in June and spend a few years on the ocean learning to swim, forage for food, and fly, before they molt and develop black & white feathers (and how disappointed were my children to realize loons weren't gold like the money!). As with most kids, my kids were interested in the predators, including big bass, turtles, and human boaters.
There is a great deal of additonal information in the back, about the loons themselves and environmental threats to the birds. This would be a great companion book to the Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea.
Reczuch's illustrations are gorgeous. The season of the sea is easily shown through her gorgeous renderings. The chicks are adorable and any of these would make gorgeous paintings to hang on a wall.
I reviewed this book for Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week by Capstone Connect.
This is the 46th book I have read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.