Candlewick. May 2019. 32p. bibliog. index. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536205381.
K-Gr 3–The book’s narrative opens in a garden, as a girl and her grandmother bond while watching and listening to hummingbirds. But the girl must leave for the United States and say goodbye to her grandmother, just as the ruby-throated hummingbirds must say goodbye to Central America and fly north. Factual details about hummingbirds are showcased in bolded text without detracting from the story. Though short, the back matter consists of an informational page, index, and bibliography that supplies additional information. Davies seamlessly weaves facts about hummingbird migration into a fictional narrative, with each aspect of the book enhancing, but never outshining, the other. Ray’s bright watercolor illustrations bring out the warmth in the interactions that characters have with one another and with the hummingbirds. Though the girl and her grandmother are almost immediately separated, the hummingbirds’ journey from Central America to New York and back again make that great distance seem less vast. Perfect for a read-aloud, this picture book is educational while providing opportunities for readers to connect with a story about human migration and family relationships.
VERDICT The book, a colorful blend of fact and fiction, raises the bar for its genre and will leave many readers hopeful to hear the “Tz’unun! Tz’unun!” of hummingbird wings in their own gardens. A wonderful addition to any informational picture book collection

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