After an unsuccessful first attempt, a fledgling warbler learns to fly.
When a young Townsend’s warbler makes his first attempt at flight, he falls with an “OOF!” Happily, the talking animals who encounter him help him figure out the necessary technique. Galligan’s debut picture book offers an amusing story with an unstated but clear if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed lesson. His fable is based on actual fledgling behavior; the aftermatter offers sensible suggestions to would-be bird rescuers. The opening line promises Seussian verse: “At the edge of a nest, on the brink of a branch, / wobbled a warbler named Warren.” What follows is more prosaic. Still, there are grand action verbs: “A chipmunk bounced”; a “mouse skittered”; a “squirrel skipped”; a “rabbit hopped”; and a “skunk waddled.” Each time one animal tries to tell the next what has happened, there’s a collision. Lively and full of slapstick, this could inspire active imitation in preschool listeners. Cheerful oil paintings showing cartoonlike but perfectly identifiable animals add to the humor and good feeling. At one point, the skunk sympathetically gathers the bruised and frightened fledgling and a chipmunk in its arms. Backmatter also includes more about hatchlings, nestlings, and fledglings as well as this particular warbler species, native to the Pacific Northwest (shown in an actual photograph).
An entertaining offering for the nature shelf and preschool storytime. (Picture book. 2-6)