THE GHOST OF DONLEY FARM by Jaime Gardner Johnson

THE GHOST OF DONLEY FARM

Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

This “ghost” story introduces children to the habits, habitats and adaptations of a red-tailed hawk and a barn owl.

Rebecca’s habitat on the Donley Farm is perfect for a hawk: wide fields and meadows, ponds, an old fence and a big maple tree. She knows every inch, yet she’s never seen the famous barn ghost, until the night she stays up late. At first frightened of the scary screeches, Rebecca eventually makes the acquaintance of Bernard. As the two get to know each other, they talk about the adaptations each has that allow survival: stiff versus soft feathers, differences in eye shapes and sizes (hawks also see color), bare legs versus feathered legs for the cool nights. In the end, Rebecca comes to the conclusion that if both she and Bernard were diurnal, one of them would go hungry; as it is, they can share a habitat. Klein’s illustrations nicely extend the text, though some could use labeling, as with the picture comparing the two birds’ feathers (addressed later in the backmatter), and the birds are slightly anthropomorphized. The backmatter provides more facts about raptors, red-tailed hawks and barn owls and challenges readers to identify nocturnal and diurnal animals.

A solid tale about two birds of prey that seamlessly blends in learning. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62855-451-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Arbordale
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2014




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