The true story of a great horned owl that is hit by a train, badly injured, rescued and rehabilitated, and eventually set free.
The first two spreads show Greta going about her owlish business, listening for prey as she glides over a field at sunset. She spots a field mouse, and the path she takes to chase the mouse unfortunately takes her right into the path of an oncoming train. She is trapped against the front of the train (in an image that is clearly photo-collaged) and is found only when she falls from the train when it stops. She is rescued and taken to a veterinarian, who discovers she has a broken leg and wing. The vet fixes her wing and leg, and she is kept in a pen until she heals and is able to fly again. The illustrations are photographs of the owl, mice, and the rescue personnel treating the bird, and an X-ray showing the broken limbs. Many of these photographs are from stock libraries, digitally assembled to tell the story. While nature-loving children will appreciate the realistic photos of the owl, a design that silhouettes many of them against abstract, computer-drawn background patterns lessens the impact. The silhouetting of the owl’s feathers is sometimes too cropped, and a natural landscape background would be more pleasing to the eye. Backmatter gives more detailed information about owls.
On balance, a heartwarming story of a successful bird rescue with somewhat less-than-successful illustrations. (Informational picture book. 5-8)