Little Swan

Overview

Ko-hoh cracks through his eggshell and sees his father and mother for the first time. With the other chicks, he learns to swim and feed and finally to fly. But danger is always near. Will Ko-hoh escape the claws of a grizzly bear before he’s old enough to migrate? Kristina Rodanas’s stunning paintings harmonize with Jonathan London’s lyrical text to portray the life cycle of a bird famous for its grace and beauty.

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Overview

Ko-hoh cracks through his eggshell and sees his father and mother for the first time. With the other chicks, he learns to swim and feed and finally to fly. But danger is always near. Will Ko-hoh escape the claws of a grizzly bear before he’s old enough to migrate? Kristina Rodanas’s stunning paintings harmonize with Jonathan London’s lyrical text to portray the life cycle of a bird famous for its grace and beauty.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Media Connection
The beautiful white trumpeter swan is the largest species of water fowl, and has been the graceful star a number of children's books. This appealing picture book follows a baby swan, Ko-hoh, from the moment he hatches in the nest, then learns to feed, to swim, to fly, and to stay safe from predators as he grows to adulthood. Outstanding full-page illustrations are rendered in colored pencil with watercolor wash, and effectively take the reader right into Ko-hoh's world. Details of the lake and marsh through the changing, lovely sky colors, and amazing texture on the close-ups of feathers add much to the simple text. The realistic paintings also capture the majesty of the swan in flight during migration. There is a nice author's note at the end of the book that gives factual information about the swan's life cycle and habits, making the book useful on another level. Recommended.
School Library Journal
Four trumpeter swans are born on the shores of a small lake, and within two days they are able to paddle in the water. By modeling their parents' behavior, they learn to dive for food, run on water to take flight, and fight off a huge predator with their strong wings. Readers follow the family through spring and summer and into fall. Information on what the swans eat and how the young ride on their mother's back to stay free of danger from above and below the water's surface are easily understood. Additional facts appear in an author's note. Colored pencil over watercolor wash illustrations deftly convey the swans' experiences. Entertainingly informing children about a specific type of bird, this story works as a companion to London's Flamingo Sunset (Marshall Cavendish, 2008)
Booklist
London and Rodanas trace a season in a cygnet's life, from the baby swan's first look at its looming parents after the eggshell has cracked open in the spring through its first migration in winter. While this book about North American trumpeter swans is packed with facts, they are never overwhelming because of the tight hold London has on the cygnet's point of view and the time line of the first year. Two days after birth, the baby swan and its siblings slide into the water; 10 days later, they imitate the parents'"bottoms up" technique for scavenging for food; in fall, their flight feathers grow in. Rodanas' doublepage illustrations—colored pencil over watercolor wash—lend gentle illumination to the swan family's progress, including a downright scary spread showcasing a thwarted grizzly bear attack. London and Rodanas have teamed up before for a study of the habits of wild birds, in Flamingo Sunset.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

Four trumpeter swans are born on the shores of a small lake, and within two days they are able to paddle in the water. By modeling their parents' behavior, they learn to dive for food, run on water to take flight, and fight off a huge predator with their strong wings. Readers follow the family through spring and summer and into fall. Information on what the swans eat and how the young ride on their mother's back to stay free of danger from above and below the water's surface are easily understood. Additional facts appear in an author's note. Colored pencil over watercolor wash illustrations deftly convey the swans' experiences. Entertainingly informing children about a specific type of bird, this story works as a companion to London's Flamingo Sunset (Marshall Cavendish, 2008).-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
This elegantly simple and informative story chronicles a year in the life of a family of trumpeter swans. From the moment baby trumpeter Ko-hoh and his siblings are born, their parents protect them. Throughout spring, summer and early fall the young swans learn how to feed and fly, in preparation for winter migration. But one icy dawn, a hungry grizzly attacks the sleeping Ko-hoh, who is in serious danger until his parents rescue him with their powerful wings. As ice forms on the lake, the family heads south. The straightforward text explains the trumpeter swan's annual cycle in the friendly context of Ko-hoh's family, while Rodanas's splendid double-page, colored-pencil-over-watercolor-wash illustrations provide a visual backdrop. Tracking Ko-hoh from hatching to full-flight migration, the illustrations allow readers to view the swans from a variety of perspectives, including inside the nest, lake level, subaquatic and aerial, while backgrounds reflect the changing seasons. A successful introduction. (author's note) (Informational picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761455233
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Jonathan London is the author of more than seventy children’s books. Many of his titles, including The Eyes of the Gray Wolf, are about nature. He’s also the author of the popular Froggy series. He lives in northern California with his wife and two sons.
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