Breathtakingly magical.



A powerful homage to the natural world, from England by way of Canada.

Combining poetic words (somewhat reminiscent of Mary Oliver’s poetry in their passion for the natural world) with truly stunning illustrations, this unusually beautiful book brings to readers the magic and wonder of nature. This is not a book about ecology or habitat; this is a book that encourages readers to revel in, and connect with, the natural world. Focusing on a particular subject, whether it be animal, insect, or plant, each poem (rendered in a variety of forms) delivers a “spell” that can be playful, poignant, or entreating. They are most effective when read aloud (as readers are encouraged to do in the introduction). Gorgeous illustrations accompany the words, both as stand-alone double-page spreads and as spot and full-page illustrations. Each remarkable image exhibits a perfect mastery of design, lively line, and watercolor technique while the sophisticated palette of warms and cools both soothes and surprises. This intense interweaving of words and pictures creates a sense of immersion and interaction—and a sense that the natural world is part of us. A glossary encourages readers to find each named species in the illustrations throughout the book­––and to go one step further and bring the book outside, to find the actual subjects in nature. Very much in the spirit of the duo’s magisterial The Lost Words (2018), this companion is significantly smaller than its sprawling companion; at just 6.5 by 4.5 inches when closed, it will easily fit into a backpack or generously sized pocket. “Wonder is needed now more than ever,” Macfarlane writes in the introduction, and this book delivers it.

 Breathtakingly magical. (Poetry. 6-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4870-0779-9

Page Count: 120

Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Davidson brings environmental passion, as well as a gimlet-eyed environmental appreciation, to the turtles’ predicament,...



A lucid and disturbing report on grim happenings in the sea-turtle world—and by extension the oceans themselves—from Davidson (The Enchanted Braid, 1998, etc.).

A pestilence is burning through the populations of sea turtles: fibropapillomatosis (FP), a nasty little virus now a serious epidemic, perhaps the most serious epidemic raging through the nonhuman world: outbreaks of FP have been found from Hawaii to Australia to Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, while the mortality rates and the startling spread of the disease give it the profile of an emerging virus. FP forms tumors over the body of the sea turtles and eventually kills them. As Davidson explains, it is transglobal, has claimed up to 90 percent of some sea-turtle populations, and has jumped species within the sea-turtle world, attacking victims already in danger of extinction. Davidson’s steady voice carries momentum as he suggests that FP may well be another warning light that we are on the verge of leaving our children an oceanic environment resembling “a sickly ghost, drained of animal life and crowded with pathogens.” Following the scientists as they search for answers to the FP crisis, Davidson provides insights into both the environmental assaults on the green sea turtle—overhunting, habitat destruction, transforming coastal waterways into breeding grounds for disease, global warming—and the preliminary biological thinking behind the causes of FP, which include non-native pathogenic pollution such as toxic dinoflagellates in algae and the mysterious workings of the herpes virus. But it is impossible to escape an obvious element, “and that’s precisely the one characteristic shared by all FP hotspots: humans have radically changed the marine environment in which the diseased turtles live.”

Davidson brings environmental passion, as well as a gimlet-eyed environmental appreciation, to the turtles’ predicament, giving the plague a moral dimension as well as delivering on the scientific one.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-58648-000-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A poet/photographer deftly makes Idaho look—and sound—like heaven.


A collection offers photographs and devotional verse.

The images are the real stars of this elegant volume. Moseley’s photos of North Idaho will make readers who have never been to the region feel like they have been missing out. On one level, her book is a visual love letter to her home state. In it are dozens of pictures of the Western landscape rendered in gorgeous detail. If these images are any indication, Idaho’s natural beauties are just stunning. The state’s skies are breathtaking, its waterways lucent, its foliage lush, and its snowscapes pristine. Those who have tried their hands at nature photography know it’s not for amateurs, and Moseley is a real pro. Her photos are crisp, colorful, and expertly framed. But the pictures are not the only gift she has for her readers. Mixed among them are swatches of lucid, moving poetry. Sometimes these poems are barely a few lines. A jaw-dropping shot of a double rainbow is accompanied by a humble quatrain: “Late afternoon Spring storms / adorn radiant skies with / wreaths of glistening rainbows / shimmering in the distant horizon.” Other poems, like “The Road Beyond,” stretch on to multiple pages. That piece ends: “Not once has He left me to travel alone / Through the bends, shadows, or strife / I wait for His hand to show me the way / No never alone on this road, my life.” The “He” here is God, and the natural world is enduring proof of the Lord’s benevolence and love. In this, the poet follows the great Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.” For Moseley, as for Hopkins, people can look to nature for evidence of God’s enduring presence, and her book is a touching testament to that belief.

A poet/photographer deftly makes Idaho look—and sound—like heaven.

Pub Date: April 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-973688-26-6

Page Count: 104

Publisher: WestBowPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet