Black Sky River

Black Sky River

5.0 1
by Tres Seymour, Dan Andreasen
     
 

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The river is a 'long, dark, endless ribbon' of birds. A boy tries and tries to count them, but there are too many--thousands. Fweet! Fweet! Fweet! Chackle! Chackle! Chak! they call, migrating in their old, old, old, familiar way. See more details below

Overview

The river is a 'long, dark, endless ribbon' of birds. A boy tries and tries to count them, but there are too many--thousands. Fweet! Fweet! Fweet! Chackle! Chackle! Chak! they call, migrating in their old, old, old, familiar way.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3A quiet, sad story of the near extinction of flocks of birds that once migrated over a small town. A father tells his son how he used to watch the birds: "...the Black Sky River...A long, dark, endless ribbon singing FWEET! FWEET! FWEET!" But the townspeople don't like the noise and the germs and they feed the birds "bitter seed." The black sky river dwindles to only a few hundred birds. The story ends on a hopeful note, however, as the man says that someday they will find a place where the Black Sky River flows again. Andreasen's oil illustrations beautifully capture the poetic text and the magic of the narrator's experiences as he relates them to the boy. This book is a subtle lesson on the effects that humans have, not only on nature, but on one another.Helen Rosenberg, Chicago Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
A boy sits and watches the river flow, only this is a river of birds—countless starlings, maybe grackles—that comprise the Black Sky River. Noisy and full of droppings, the birds eat the bitter (read poison) seeds cast by the citizenry, and the mighty torrent during migration is reduced to a trickle. Cacophonous and filthy the birds were, perhaps, but the boy misses "the mystery, the wondering of things without beginning, without end." As a man, he tells his son that maybe one day they will again witness the Black Sky River.

Among other worthy sentiments, Seymour (I Love My Buzzard, 1994, etc.) offers a mostly gentle ecological plea for letting things be, although the use of the "bitter seed" will seem, to contemporary children, like a form of murder. Andreasen's mournful paintings, fusing Norman Rockwell and John Constable, complement the melancholy air of the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531088876
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.47(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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