Kirkus Reviews QR Code
IN THE BELLY OF AN OX by Rebecca Bond

IN THE BELLY OF AN OX

The Unexpected Photographic Adventures of Richard and Cherry Kearton

By Rebecca Bond (Author) , Rebecca Bond (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-07675-1

Two brothers, Richard and Cherry Kearton, were born on a farm in late-19th-century England. They spent their childhoods exploring the Yorkshire moors, “on that thin line where the wide land meets huge sky,” delighting in nature’s patterns and possibilities. They examined every nest, every web and every footprint they found. When they grew up, the boys took serious jobs but missed their moorland fun. One afternoon, while visiting the country, Cherry took a photograph of a nest. That single snapshot opened a whole new world for the Kearton brothers. They became determined nature photographers, devising elaborate disguises and “hides” to camouflage themselves into the surroundings. Using rocks, trees, even a fake ox constructed out of a real hide, they found innovative ways to photograph birds. Bond’s watercolors enliven the rolling hills, and paneled illustrations effectively pace the chronology. The story could be tempted to take a humorous turn, focusing on each madcap disguise the brothers thought up, but instead it stays true to the Keartons’ sensibilities. A thoughtful look at two important forerunners of nature photography. (sources, photographs, endnote) (Informational picture book. 5-8)