MARTHA by Gennady Spirin

MARTHA

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Spirin’s illustrations always gladden the heart, and here his meticulous and sumptuous watercolors highlight a familiar family tale. It tells, with simplicity and affection, of the time when his then five-year-old son Ilya brought home an injured crow from a snowy park in Moscow. Although the veterinarian recommends destroying the bird, Ilya and his mother Raya instead take it back home, nurse it and feed it. Ilya names the crow Martha, and it lives in a basket by his father’s drawing table. Martha learns to fly again (Spirin’s head becomes a favorite launching perch), and one day leaves via an open window, but at the end of the summer a mother crow and her babies nest outside of that window—Ilya believes it is Martha returned. The pictures are so full of color and life that children will feel they can reach out to stroke Martha’s wing, or the objects on the drawing table, or Raya’s beautiful floral wool shawl. A little slice of life—about life. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-23980-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2005




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