by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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 In the classic tradition of wildlife stories--from Born Free to Free Willy--a creature is plucked from the wild and caged, then eventually reintroduced to its natural habitat. A windhover chick narrates how it broke out of its shell in the family perch atop a schoolyard building. Two hands, belonging to a creature with ``no musty bird smell,'' grab the tiny bird and put it behind bars. The windhover recognizes the boy as a loner on the playground, Dan Foster. It grows thinner, until Dan is convinced by a classmate that the right thing to do is to set the bird free. Readers who have cared for wild creatures will recognize Dan's struggle with his conscience; it's no surprise that he is redeemed by his decision and makes a friend, too. In fact, the book unfolds like clockwork; by keeping to the bird's perspective, all emotion and urgency is washed from the tale. Birmingham illustrates the story in fuzzy, muted pastels that resemble Mark Graham's work; he zeroes in on the windhover in captivity and in flight in full-page portraits, and varies his compositions with close-ups of the children's faces and aerial shots from the windhover's-eye view. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-15-201187-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1997


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