The Little Hummingbird

K-Gr 3—Based on a South American indigenous story, this book tells of a forest fire that causes the animals to flee for their lives. All except Little Hummingbird, that is, who begins ferrying single drops of water from a nearby stream to the forest. As she works steadfastly to douse the flames, one by one the animals cry out their reasons for running away. Finally Big Bear asks, "Little Hummingbird, what are you doing?" and she replies, "I am doing everything I can." This fablelike tale shows readers how one person can make a difference in everyday life. It will resonate with children and provide a jumping-off point for discussions about how change happens. The illustrations are monochromatic and beautifully representative of Native Haida art. The motif continues onto the endpapers in a stunning black and gray pattern that is both dramatic and satisfying. The author includes back matter on the place of hummingbirds in legend and in an afterword, Nobel Prize-winner Wangari Maathai offers insight into the importance of the individual.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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