THUNDER BIRDS by Jim Arnosky


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Age Range: 6 - 10
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A baleful osprey holding a rainbow trout in its talons glares at readers from the cover of this elegant introduction to predator birds, Arnosky’s latest exploration of the natural world. With oversized pages and four fold-outs showing accurately depicted, sometimes life-size images, the artist and famed wildlife watcher introduces eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, herons and pelicans. He begins, appropriately, with a bald eagle, shown at half its actual size, and a meticulous, full-sized drawing of an eagle foot. Inside the first gate-fold, the osprey, wing outstretched, shares space with comparable heads and silhouettes—a golden eagle, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon. With only a few paragraphs of text for each bird family and plenty of extended captions, the book economically yet thoroughly covers a great deal. Full-bleed paintings in acrylic and white chalk pencil include many close-ups, showing heads, eyes and beaks. Sketches show the separated tips of wing feathers and feathered feet that allow owls to fly silently, the heron’s forward-facing eyes and the pelican’s expanding throat pouch. In an afterword, the author reminds readers that these birds can be seen in American refuges and sanctuaries today and provides a list of some he and his wife have visited in their research. “Nature’s flying predators are magnificent creatures,” the author writes, and this is a deserved celebration. (bibliography, metric equivalents) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4027-5661-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011


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