Sunday, December 14, 2014

A CHILDREN'S GUIDE TO ARCTIC BIRDS by Mia Pelletier, illustrated by Danny Christopher

When my daughter was in college, one of the elective courses she took was about birds. It contrasted with the readings she was doing in philosophy and history. For years we'd talked about philosophy and history. Talking about birds, however, was new. She learned a lot of fascinating information that she passed on to me.

I was reminded of that as I read A Children's Guide to Arctic Birds, written by Mia Pelletier and illustrated by Danny Christopher. Here's the cover:

And here's a page from inside:

See that gorgeous art? That's one of the strong points of this nonfiction book, but so are the facts provided about birds.

The information provided for each of the twelve birds is shared in these categories: Where to Look, What they Eat, Listen for, Nest, Egg, Chick, and During the Winter. Very useful for people in the arctic, but useful, too, for kids who are doing bird studies anywhere. And the endcovers! Gorgeous! One in the front depicts eggs for each of the birds inside, and, the one in the back shows them, in scale, flying in silhouette. The twelve, from smallest to largest are: snow bunting, red phalarope, rock ptarmigan, thick-billed murre, arctic tern, long-tailed duck, common eider, red-throated loon, gyrfalcon, snowy owl, raven, and, tundra swan. In addition to double-paged spreads about each bird, there are stand-alone pages about feathers, bills, and feet.

Of particular interest to AICL is that the Inuktitut word (a dialect spoken by the Inuit people) for each bird is included on each page, just beneath the English name for the bird. Here's a look at the page above:

I love seeing Native languages in children's books! I would have liked to see another category that addresses how the bird is viewed amongst the Inuit people, or a stand-alone page about the language and people, but I do like and recommend A Children's Guide to Arctic Birds. It is a 2014 nonfiction title from Inhabit Media.


Update, Feb 13, 2015

Pelletier and Christopher are not Native.

1 comment:

Suzassippi said...

I have enjoyed reading your posts about American Indians in Children's Literature. Your recent post on the book Crazy Horse's Girlfriend intrigued me to the point that I ordered the book. I cannot wait for it to arrive today!