Sammy the young Wilson’s warbler’s freezing toes tell him it’s time to migrate, but how will he find his way from his home in the Arctic Circle to Panama when all the other birds have already left?
After several fruitless attempts to solve this problem by questioning other birds and animals, he sets off, hitching a ride on a sandhill crane and following the shoreline with a flock of darner dragonflies. Other warblers show him how to navigate by the stars, but the confusion of city lights leads to a painful encounter with a skyscraper window. Challenged by the uber-migrant Hudsonian godwit, Sammy sets out over the ocean, island hopping all the way to Mexico. The instincts of the tiny bird are true, and they lead him to his final destination. Thornhill’s authoritative yet friendly and accessible text, coupled with Kim’s decorative pen-and-wash collaged illustrations, make this an appealing book for children who appreciate realism and authentic detail in a picture book. The endpapers depict realistic sketches of a few of the vast variety of warblers, and a map of bird migration routes completes this charming and unusual nature storybook. A brief introduction to the other animals and birds mentioned in the story is also included. Possibilities for use in the classroom are endless.
An unusual and attractive take on a perennially absorbing topic. (Picture book. 6-10)