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HUMMINGBIRDS by Jeanette Larson


Facts and Folklore from the Americas

by & & illustrated by

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58089-332-9
Publisher: Charlesbridge

A very nicely conceived title that does not entirely cohere. The authors have compiled a lot of information about hummingbirds: their biological orders, families and species; their habits and patterns; their migrations and physical characteristics. They keep at the forefront what makes these tiny, strong, territorial flyers so fascinating and why they are so astonishingly beautiful (it’s not the colors in the feathers, it’s the way the feathers refract light, like a prism.) Each short chapter discusses a physiological or behavioral characteristic and presents a hummingbird legend or story, woven from various versions of tales from Navajo, Aztec, Taino and other indigenous peoples of the Americas. Yorinks has created all the illustrations with fabric collage—cotton, silk, paints, glitter—from small spots to double-page spreads in which the text floats on the images. The text does not always read smoothly, there is some repetition and the rather odd inclusion of a small quilt with the actor Alan Arkin’s image (he’s a hummingbird fan) that adds to the hodgepodge feel. (foreword, glossary, bibliography, hummingbird sanctuaries, art notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)