HOOK by Ed Young
Kirkus Star


by and illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


An unusual bird soars through striking art and powerful imagery. A boy gives a forsaken egg to a nearby hen, who gladly mothers her fosterling. When hatched, the bird’s hooked beak inspires his name, and his matted feathers and outstretched claws display his youthful strength. Although numerous flying attempts prove futile, the mighty bird eventually spreads his wings in a glorious double-page spread, “for he was not meant for earth.” Pacing builds through each page turn, taut phrases increasing intensity. “He pushes off, but falls to earth…. / An even higher place. / Another try. / Another fall.” The prevalent red-dirt background conveys the richness of the natural world and the warmth of both the Pueblo setting and Hook’s adoptive family. Vibrant, minimal chalk drawings—hardly more than sketches, but glorious ones—utilize shifting perspectives to enhance the sky’s imposing vastness. Blue light transcends as the bird struggles for flight, finally soaring against the magnificent canyon. The child’s face is often hidden from view, with the focus on the birds’ transformative expressions. Arresting and absorbing, this tale soars. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-363-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2009


ChildrenCATASTROPHE BY THE SEA by Brenda Peterson
by Brenda Peterson
ChildrenSMILE by Gary Golio
by Gary Golio
ChildrenYUGEN by Mark Reibstein
by Mark Reibstein