A Loon Alone

A Loon Alone

5.0 1
by Pamela Love, Shannon Sycks

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Author and artist fluidly combine a glimpse of nature's pecking order and a cautionary tale in this attractive volume about a loon chick separated from and ultimately reunited with its mother. "On a lake in the Maine woods, two loons a mother and chick were swimming together." But the young bird soon lags behind. Young readers will identify with the loon chick's distraction as he engages in innocent fun: "Sometimes, he would dive and bring up a smooth, white stone in his dark grey bill. It was play but also practice for catching fish someday." However, his antics draw unwanted attention from a snapping turtle; his mother spies the predator and scares the turtle away. Sycks's finely detailed illustrations, rendered in earth-tones, shows the loon nestling beside cattails and a fallen tree branch as camouflage. Intricate pencil strokes reveal the chick's wispy down with scientific accuracy. Love narrates the proceedings without anthropomorphizing the creatures, and brings the book to a reassuring conclusion: "Kwuk, kwuk," calls mother loon, signaling that it's safe for her chick to come out. Ages 4-7. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
While swimming with his mother in a Maine pond, a loon chick encounters various predators and dangers. Separated from his mother, he avoids being pounced on by a raccoon, stepped on by a moose, and eaten by a river otter before they are reunited Young readers will be anxious for and relieved at the reunion of mother and baby, enjoy the many animals depicted in Sycks's colored-pencil drawings, and learn something about the loon's habits, such as chicks practicing diving and pulling up stones for fun and riding on mother's back to keep warm. An afterword provides a few more facts for older and interested readers. Adults might question what that raccoon is going to do with the baby chick—eat it? play with it? wash it? One might also wonder if a raccoon would be so intent that it wouldn't see or hear a moose about to step on its tail? And my nature guide doesn't list baby birds as a food of river otters, which are said to prefer crayfish, fish, and other invertebrates. But, these factual glitches probably won't bother preschoolers who will come away with a new bird to think about and another example of predators and prey in a natural environment. 2002, Down East Books,
— Susan Hepler

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Product Details

Down East Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
4 - 18 Years

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A Loon Alone 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son's grandmother bought this book for him and it came with a stuffed toy loon. He loves this book so much and reads it with me so often that he keeps it with the toy loon on top of the television so he always knows where it is and can look at it while viewing his shows. This book is also a great lesson for kids because it shows the other dangers of the world that can happen when mom isn't around to protect them and it explains this in an 'animal' way instead of a 'people' way. It shows children that 'animals do what animals do,' because they're animals. While reading this book with my son, he asks questions like, 'Why would a turtle want to hurt a little bird?' This kind of book gets a child's mind thinking productively as well as wishing to learn more.