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Junior - A Little Loon Tale

Junior - A Little Loon Tale

by John Hassett, Ann Hassett

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Children of wetland enthusiasts constitute the likely audience for this environmental bulletin. Father and Mother Loon have noticed that the Maine lake they call home is neither as peaceful nor as clear as it once was. Still, they stay on for the sake of their egg, which hatches one day while they're out fishing. Loon chick Junior, a gray puffball with a mind of his own, takes a look around the busy lake and ``knows right away that there must be less to life than all this''; all alone, he searches for a quiet home among chickadees and seagulls, unaware that his parents are telling the raven and the puffins he's lost. Although the Hassetts ( Moose on the Loose ) describe the ``wild and wonderful calls'' of the loons without mentioning that these songs can sound like shrieks, they otherwise anthropomorphize their characters according to stock types--the authoritative Father Loon, concerned Mother Loon and cynical Junior. Understated illustrations with choppy black outlines and watered-down earth tones add a naturalistic feel that matches the book's anti-pollution message. The only thing missing here seems to be recycled paper. Ages 5-10. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
The water in the lake isn't quite as blue, and the speedboats zip by too often, but Mother Loon just doesn't want to leave her home on the lake. While his parents are off fishing, Junior hatches and packs his bags for a cleaner, quieter place. As his frantic parents search for him, Junior encounters several other birds who have adapted to civilization. The family is finally reunited, and the humans who enjoy the loons' song vow to provide a more hospitable home for them. Cartoon-like illustrations washed with pastel colors decorate this quirky little tale.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This picture book, whose serious theme is coupled with attempts at lighthearted humor, doesn't live up to its potential. The bad habits of a careless society impact on a little loon named Junior, who abandons his nest to seek a better environment. He searches through backyards, parking lots, and dumps. Meanwhile, his worried parents search for him. The family is reunited in the middle of a busy street, only to be arrested for disturbing the peace. A farmer's son, who has missed the haunting song of the loons on the lake, is given custody of the birds and returns them to their home, which area residents clean up and restore to its natural state. Junior isn't overly optimistic and concludes, "`We shall see.'" The witticisms and wordplay are often too sophisticated for the intended audience. Some confusion exists, as bird behaviors vary from authentic to anthropomorphic; mother loon struggles in her role to keep a good nest, and puffins, while shown in their natural habitat, are said to be wearing suits. Cartoon illustrations in pen and ink and pale watercolors, while appropriate to the tone of the text, do little to enhance this ecological tale.-Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ

Product Details

Down East Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
11.36(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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