Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems

Overview

For two glorious months, one lucky family gets an intimate peek at the daily activities of a mother hummingbird and her babies. Nest building, egg hatching, flying lessons—the family sees it all unfold on the back patio. Share the experience through this poignant journal of poems filled with funny observations, fascinating hummingbird facts, and unforgettable moments.

Includes an author's note, a fact list, ...

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Overview

For two glorious months, one lucky family gets an intimate peek at the daily activities of a mother hummingbird and her babies. Nest building, egg hatching, flying lessons—the family sees it all unfold on the back patio. Share the experience through this poignant journal of poems filled with funny observations, fascinating hummingbird facts, and unforgettable moments.

Includes an author's note, a fact list, and suggestions for further reading.

When a mother hummingbird builds a nest on a family's porch, they watch and record her actions and the birth and development of her fledglings.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"...the excitement here is in the particulars that bring readers close up to a universe."
Booklist
*Starred Review* "...the excitement here is in the particulars that bring readers up close to a universe."
Publishers Weekly
Sublime illustrations and keenly observant verse are sure to captivate in this collection of poetry about a hummingbird that set up house in the author's backyard. George (Book) kept a journal of the real-life eight-week episode, and her poems proceed in sequence. From the mother hummer's first territorial displays during nest-building (recounted in "Breakfast on the Patio") to the fledging of her two babies ("Congratulations"), the lyrical anecdotes are rich in metaphor. "Feed Me! Feed Me!" showcases the hungry nestlings: "two thin beaks point toward sky-/ exclamation points./ Mom returns with spider snacks-/ open beaks,/ capital Vs." George effectively employs different perspectives, as in the humorous piece "The Dog Complains": "That bird/ is making a mess-/ splashing,/ flapping./ .../ What can that bird be thinking?/ Bathtub?/ Swimming hole?/ Out bird!/ That's my bowl!" The tone turns bittersweet in "Farewell": "How did you know/ it was time to try/ your wings and claim/ your corner of the sky?/ I only wish/ I'd said good-bye." Dated in journal fashion, Moser's (One Small Garden) delicate watercolors resemble field-guide illustrations, their varied perspectives inviting readers into the avian adventure. Multiple views of the thumb-size nest, the diminutive birds and their leafy microenvironment provide enough variety to maintain visual interest. A thoughtful author's note and extensive facts about hummingbirds conclude this work, one likely to send kids to their own yards for inspiration. Ages 6-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Acclaimed poet Kristine O'Connell George delights in the "pixie tidbit" that set up housekeeping on her patio in Hummingbird Nest. These 26 poems chronicle the nest-building, egg-hatching, baby-tending adventures of a mother hummingbird. Like their subject, these short poems are packed with energy and beauty, a clear-eyed tribute to the "thimble birds" that "magic ... all day long." Barry Moser's trademark watercolors shimmer on the page, conveying the essence of the quick-winged creatures without sacrificing realistic details. The "Author's Note" provided by George at the end will encourage budding naturalists to be on the look-out for nesting birds and to keep their own bird-watching journals—from a respectful distance, of course. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 5 up.
—Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-In this personal journal, George describes the building of an Anna's hummingbird's nest in a potted ficus tree on her patio and chronicles the hatching and rearing of the baby birds during a two-month period. Her poems include observations written from the points of view of her daughter and those of the family dog and cat. An author's note that provides commentary on the journal and two pages of detailed hummingbird facts are appended. The book itself is a handsome, finely crafted piece-a combination of creamy pages, clearly printed text, and perfectly placed illustrations. Moser's transparent watercolor paintings, which range in size from small vignettes to full-page illustrations, show mama hummingbird, nest, tree, hatchlings, and fledgling birds from a variety of perspectives. Although there is no shortage of informative books on hummingbirds, this lovely title provides a vicarious experience along with the facts.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Paired to pale, delicately brushed close-ups done with Moser's trademark realism, George's simple poetic observations follow a mother hummingbird as she builds her nest-"Even after days of work / she's still fussing, tucking- / feathers, cobwebs, a tuft / of silky grass"-lays two tiny eggs, then rears her nestlings until they take their own tentative flights. The author rounds out her "journal," which is based on a real encounter, with congratulatory lines-"Well, Mom, you did it"-and a poem noting "new visitors" around the feeder, then closes by recapitulating the entire event in prose, adding hummingbird facts and a reading list. A smooth, easy-reading glimpse into the natural world, with a metaphorical human level that George doesn't acknowledge, but thoughtful readers will spot. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152023256
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.01 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

KRISTINE O'CONNELL GEORGE 's children's books have won many major poetry awards and garnered numerous starred review. She lives in the Santa Monica Mountains in California.

BARRY MOSER is the acclaimed illustrator of many books for children and adults, including Telling Time with Big Mama Cat and Sit, Truman!, both written by Dan Harper and co-illustrated with Cara Moser, and That Summer by Tony Johnston. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005

    Interested in Hummingbirds?

    This book is an excellent source for researching hummingbirds. It is a journal of poems made by observing a hummingbird nest and the hummingbirds who lived in it. It includes a background of the book, hummingbird facts, and a list of books about hummingbirds. This is a great book to read aloud in science.

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