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COUNTING CRANES by Mary Beth Owens

COUNTING CRANES

By Mary Beth Owens (Author) , Mary Beth Owens (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-67719-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

 Owens (A Caribou Alphabet, 1989, ALA Notable) brings her concern for wildlife and elegant sense of design to a counting book featuring a species--the whooping crane--once reduced to a population of 15, the number shown on the last spread here (there are are now 131 cranes ``living in the Canadian-American flock''). Building toward that number, she pictures a solitary crane in a late spring snow and a pair with a single nestling; in mounting numbers, the flock forages for food, migrates, and completes the year by setting north again. Owens's text is as spare and carefully honed as haiku (``Cold and heavy,/wings beating/to pass a storm cloud,/eight cranes/struggle''); in her exquisite compositions, each comprised of a spread with two wonderfully harmonious frames, the delicate birds gracefully exceed slim borders containing impressionistically rendered landscapes. A lovely, eloquent book. (Picture book. 3-8)