A wild stork receives some loving care when it becomes caught in netting on Maya’s kibbutz during the annual migration from Africa to Israel.
Maya’s abba is a fish farmer and each year protects his stock from hungry, swooping storks by placing netting across the ponds. But when one stork’s feet become entangled, she breaks her wing in her struggle to free herself. Maya rescues and cares for the injured stork, naming her Yaffa, “pretty” in Hebrew. As Yaffa heals, a pair of storks make their nest in a tree on the kibbutz, producing three little chicks. When the mother leaves, never to return, the male stork, named Tzadok (“righteous”) by Maya, remains but needs a partner to scavenge for and feed the chicks. Yaffa is gently introduced and placed in the nest to help the young family until the chicks are ready to fly. Watercolors in muted natural hues on textured paper add a sense of serenity to the tale. It is unusual in its depiction of an Israeli kibbutz, though it does little to portray the distinctiveness of kibbutz life, beyond references to the other farmers; the focus on Maya’s altruistic act obscures the authentic portrayal of the collective business of farming fish.
A well-meaning but ultimately unsuccessful blend of eco-awareness and aquaculture. (Picture book. 5-8)