Review: The Eagles Are Back by Jean Craighead George

eagles are back

The Eagles Are Back by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Wendell Minor

The third book in this pair’s new nature series, this is the story of how people worked together to save the bald eagle from possible extinction.  Told through the eyes of a young boy, this is also the story of how children can make a real difference in their world.  When the boy climbs to a bald eagle nest, he sees that the eggs in the nest are broken.  Only 450 pairs of bald eagles still survived in the wild because of the impact of the pesticide DDT making the eagles’ eggs soft and fragile.  The boy meets with a ranger who has a healthy eagle egg for the empty nest.  The boy agrees to keep an eye on the pair and see whether they accept the egg.  The boy kept watch and saw the eagles adopt the egg, but he also helped by catching fish for the eagles to catch in midair.  Readers and the boy get to see the eaglet grow and take her first flight.  This is a celebration of how humans can turn things around and help the environment, no matter how young they are.

George writes with plenty of details that really explain the seriousness of the situation that DDT caused.  Writing with a child as the main character sends a powerful message to today’s children and the impact that they too can have on issues that are important to them.  It is also a clear invitation to enter the wild and explore.  George specializes in writing about nature and the environment and always reveals the beauty and wonder of the wilderness.

Minor’s art echoes that beauty and wonder.  In gouache and watercolor, he creates images that are soft and inviting.  They are also lit from within, giving them the glowing feel of real nature and sunlight on leafy canopies. 

Celebrate the return of the eagles with this book, but also make sure that your library collection has the first two about wolves and buffalo.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books for Young Readers.

Review: Ten Things I Love about You by Daniel Kirk

ten things i love about you

Ten Things I Love about You by Daniel Kirk

Rabbit and Pig are great friends.  So Rabbit decides to make a list of ten things that he loves about Pig.  Rabbit comes up with the first one all on his own: Number 1 – I love Pig because he is very pink.  Then he turns to Pig for help, but Pig is busy doing something else.  Rabbit figures out Number 2, I love Pig because he knows how to keep busy.  As time goes by, Rabbit continues to fill his list as Pig reacts to Rabbit’s visits and questions.  But Pig is getting more and more frustrated with the interruptions.  Finally, Rabbit’s list is complete and Pig has a surprise in turn for Rabbit.

Told entirely in dialogue, this is a picture book that begs to be read aloud.  Because of the way it’s written, the humor is highlighted clearly for young readers.  The pacing too is impacted by the format with a dashing briskness that is very refreshing.  Kirk’s illustrations are very modern.  They were made by scanning ink drawings and painted plywood panels into the computer and then texture and color were added with Photoshop.  They have a wonderful rustic edge to both the images themselves and also the edges of the plywood.  It adds an organic warmth to the story.

Add this one to your friendship story times, Rabbit and Pig are sure to get along well with Frog and Toad as well as Elephant and Piggie.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Nancy Paulsen Books.

2013 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Shortlist


The CBCA Book of the Year Awards Shortlist has six titles in each of the categories except for the Information Books which has five.  Award winners will be announced on August 16, 2013.  Each category also has a list of Notables which can be seen here.



The Coat A Day to Remember Herman and Rosie

The Coat by Julie Hunt, illustrated by Ron Brooks

A Day to Remember by Jackie French, illustrated by Mark Wilson

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon

Lightning Jack  Sophie Scott Goes South Tanglewood

Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard, illustrated by Patricia Mullins

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester

Tanglewood by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne Goodman



It's a miroocool! Peggy

It’s a Miroocool! by Christine Harris, illustrated by Ann James

Peggy by Anna Walker

Pros and Cons of Being a Frog The terrible suitcase

The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog by Sue DeGennaro

The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen, illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Too Many Elephants in this House With Nan

Too Many Elephants in This House by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner

With Nan by Tania Cox, illustrated by Karen Blair



After (Once, #4) The Children of the King Other Brother

After by Morris Gleitzman

Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett

Other Brother by Simon French

Pennies for Hitler Pookie Aleera is not my Boyfriend The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk

Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

Pookie Aleera Is Not My Boyfriend by Steven Herrick

The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk by Glenda Millard, illustrated by Stephen Michael King



Creepy and Maud Friday Brown The Ink Bridge

Creepy & Maud by Dianne Touchell

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant

Sea Hearts The Shiny Guys The Wrong Boy

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (published as Brides of Rollrock Island in the US)

The Shiny Guys by Doug MacLeod

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail



Lyrebird! A true story Portrait of Spain for Kids Python

Lyrebird! A True Story by Jackie Kerin, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe

Portrait of Spain for Kids by Queensland Art Gallery

Python by Chistopher Cheng and Mark Jackson

Tom the Outback Mailman Topsy-turvy World : How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers

Tom the Outback Mailman by Kristin Widenbach, illustrated by Timothy Ide

Topsy-turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers by Kirsty Murray