A fanciful story of loss and return connects a series of remarkable photographs of sandhill cranes during their annual stopovers on the Platte River in Nebraska.
Forsberg’s stunning images show the cranes in action. Group shots give a sense of their incredible numbers and the power of their flight; close-ups include standard poses—fighting, dancing, preening—and even a remarkable picture of a mother enfolding her chick in her wings. There are beautiful Nebraskan sunsets and landscapes from both ends of the sandhill crane migration from Alaska to New Mexico. This is the first book for young readers by the Nebraska Book Award–winning conservation photographer. Thoughtful, attractive design and crisp, clear reproduction treat these first-rate images as they deserve. Not so for the narrative, which follows John Crane as he searches for his mate, Mary, after a coyote has startled the flock into confusion and separated the two. John’s imagined thoughts, conversations with other cranes and even prayers contradict the realism of the pictures. Cranes often mate for life, and they share other characteristics with human beings. But this is not a fable, and there is no need for this pair to be given human characteristics and motivations.
Unfortunate anthropomorphism in a beautiful setting. (Picture book. 4-7)