Friday, September 28, 2018

Hawk Rising and Desert Animals

Hawk Rising
by Maria Gianferrari; illus. by Brian Floca
40 pages; ages 4-8
Roaring Brook Press, 2018

themes: animal families, birds

Father Hawk stretches wide his wings.
You stretch your arms as Mars rises red in the sky.

Dawn is breaking and hungry chicks are waiting for their breakfast. Father Hawk is on the hunt! But catching food is harder than we'd think - and there are other dangers facing hawks.

What I like about this book: The alternating viewpoint between the child ("you") and the hawk. The reality of being a predator in a hawk-eat-rodent world. I love Brian Floca's muted watercolor illustrations. I love the suspense: will the hawk nestlings get a meal?

And, of course (!) I like that there is back matter. More details on the lives of red-tailed hawks: where they live, how they fly, what they eat (just about anything!) and tips on spotting a red-tailed hawk. Maria also includes suggestions for further reading as well as websites for learning more.

Over on a Desert, Somewhere in the World
by Marianne Berkes; illus. by Jill Dubin
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2018

Over on the desert resting in the hot sun, lived a tall mother camel and her little calf one.

Set to the tune of a familiar children's song, Marianne introduces readers to ten desert animals: camels, gila monsters, javelinas ..... real hot weather critters. Each spread introduces a new animal family as the number of young increase one by one to reach ten.

So why pair this book with the one above? Because hidden in one of the desert scenes is a hawk! In fact, each spread has an animal hidden in plain sight in the arid scene, but you might not find it until your second - or third - reading.

What I like about this book: It offers a wonderful opportunity to sharpen observation skills, plus we learn about desert life. I like that there's a map on each page that shows where these animals live.

The other thing I like about this book - and indeed, all Dawn books, is the back matter. There's a half page on desert facts, a challenge to find the "hidden" animals scattered through the pages, and more information about each animal family featured in the book. Plus there are activities to try!

Beyond the book:

What kinds of hawks do you have flying around your neighborhood? Here's how to distinguish a red-tailed hawk from other species.

Go on a hunt with a hawk! Here's a video from a hawk cam.

Make a hawk mask - or a mask of a desert animal.  

Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup - and we're also joining others over at Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review ARC's from publishers.


Maria Gianferrari said...

Thanks, Sue!! I'm a backmatter nerd too :)

Anonymous said...

I love the recurring hawk here. Javelinas? Now what are they? :-)

Jilanne Hoffmann said...

Thanks for these suggestions! I've just put holds on both at the library. Had Maria's on my list for awhile, so thanks for the nudge!

Jilanne Hoffmann said...

We had javelinas running about when I lived in Tucson. The looked like small boars, but they're not pigs.

Patricia T. said...

You share some of the best wildlife books. I particularly love the Hawk book, since I have them as frequent visitors in my backyard. Gorgeous cover!

Beth Anderson said...

I've been waiting to see Hawk Rising, and now I have another one to look for. Thanks!

McMarshall said...

I'm studying back matter at the moment, so these are great resources. Besides, I love Hawk Rising. Great post, Sue

Rosi Hollinbeck said...

You always find such fun books. Thanks for this.

Sue Heavenrich said...

I love backmatter even when it's for a fiction book!

Sue Heavenrich said...

Javelinas are also called peccaries - related to pigs but not pigs.

Sue Heavenrich said...

yeah... my list is so long I wonder if I'll ever get to all those books!

Sue Heavenrich said...

thanks! and yes, Brian's illustrations are wonderful.

Sue Heavenrich said...

I would love to hear what you think about back matter - hope you'll share your thoughts somewhere.