November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarSMITH, Danna. The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 40p. further reading. index. websites. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763679927.

NF-Smith-TheHawkoftheCastleK-Gr 3 –A serene journey through a medieval landscape with a falconer and his daughter. Each spread features a four-line stanza that describes an aspect of falconry and ends with “the castle”: “This is the glove with scratches and flaws/which protects Father’s hand from razor-sharp claws/that grasp with ease and hold on tight/as we make our way from the castle.” The lilting meter is complemented by smaller text inserts that provide additional information (about the falconer’s gauntlet, the practice of casting, etc.) and contribute to the overall usability of the work. Ibatoulline’s stunning illustrations depict the father/daughter pair hunting and learning together in a landscape of brilliant color and detail: the fabric folds in their cloaks, the hawk’s feathers, and the lush green flora. There are also a number of action poses of the hawk swooping in with talons ready that are sure to amaze readers. Back matter includes a note by Smith that offers further context on the personal inspiration behind the book (the author’s father was a falconer), the origins of falconry in China and the Middle East, its popularity in the Middle Ages, and issues facing falconers today (roads, power lines, etc.). VERDICT An imaginative and unique title to introduce elementary schoolers to hawks and falconry in a medieval setting—an ideal read-aloud selection, too.–Jeffrey Meyer, Mount Pleasant Public Library, IA

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2017 issue.

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.

Comments

  1. I feel like I could fly with the hawk while listening to the beautifully written words. Can’t wait to my hands on this book!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*