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Children's LiteratureAdventure abounds when a boy and his mother slip into a canoe and paddle around a smooth, shiny lake. Their dog, Miles, swims beside them, as they head for the berry bushes on nearby Big Island. On the way, they spot a loon and its two chicks in the water. When Miles heads off toward the loons, the boy and his mother think the worst. Only a race against the water can save the babies. But the parent loon calls upon instincts and thrashes out at Miles. The dog slinks away from the loons. Later, the boy and one of the loons meet face-to-face in a moment of stillness. A special finish to the evening includes the calls and flight of a loon. This first person account imparts lots of information in a close-up way. The text is clear and includes lovely, descriptive phrases, and the story flows in a peaceful manner. Pastel illustrations fit the text well, and double spreads are highlighted with borders that enhance the format. Readers get a bonus with supplemental pages. They hold facts, questions, a map, and math and measure activities. Information about loons in Native American culture and directions for making a loon mask are also included. This book supports ideas regarding adaptations, behaviors, and habitats of animals. Youngsters will read it again and again. 2006, Sylvan Dell Publishing, Ages 6 to 10.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury