NONFICTION

Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel: And Other Poems of Birds in Flight

Kids Can. Sept. 2019. 36p. glossary. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781771389952.
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Gr 1-4–Griek uses the introductory poem to set a tone of informal fun, while the text on the facing page succinctly informs. Each double-page spread follows this pattern. The lyrical description of the puffins’ flight pattern as they wheel around their nesting colony is followed by the explanation of how this behavior may confuse their predators. There’s even the hint of a narrative in the pastel-colored illustrations. A falcon head appears on the cover, and a striped tail disappears off the edge of the first pages. This tail is depicted as being attacked by crows and finally appears as a peregrine diving through the air after prey. Every poem soars in its description, and each text presents solid information. The book lacks an index, but the one-page glossary succinctly defines many of the terms. The “More About the Birds” section contains a short paragraph and an illustration of the bird.
VERDICT This nice combination of poetry, prose, and illustrations make this a good read-aloud and book to share.

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