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A Mother's Journey

Overview

Acclaimed nonfiction author Sandra Markle presents the daring story of a mother emperor penguin's struggle to reach the sea, find food, avoid predators, and make her way back to her mate and their newborn chick before they starve. Alan Marks' luminous illustrations highlight the harsh conditions and stunning landscapes of Antarctica.
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Overview

Acclaimed nonfiction author Sandra Markle presents the daring story of a mother emperor penguin's struggle to reach the sea, find food, avoid predators, and make her way back to her mate and their newborn chick before they starve. Alan Marks' luminous illustrations highlight the harsh conditions and stunning landscapes of Antarctica.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
I read this picture book three days before seeing "March of the Penguins," which only made me want to see the documentary even more. The author has done an excellent job researching this book and the illustrations are beautifully done; the attention to the coloring of the penguins is excellent. Wisely, the reader is allowed to follow the story of one penguin couple, from the time the penguin egg is dropped by the mother through the mother's voyage back to the open sea while the father tends to the egg—soon to hatch—to the return of the mother to her little family with much-needed food for her baby. The details of the journey are well-described and the illustrations support the focus well. Young readers will enjoy the book because they will be able to read it fairly easily and because they will understand the majority of the interesting details of the annual march of the Antarctic Emperor Penguins. Older readers may be intrigued enough to watch the movie or do their own research on these amazing animals. A great read. 2005, Charlesbridge, Ages 5 to 10.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A simple, lyrical text follows the fortunes of an Emperor penguin from laying her first egg through her epic journey to open sea seeking food and culminating in her timely return with a belly full to regurgitate for her newly hatched chick. The whole is perfectly accompanied by Marks's luminous blue-toned watercolors, emphasizing the vast distances, the harsh weather, and the dangers lurking in the sea off the ice shelf of Antarctica. The book is similar in scope to Brenda Z. Guiberson's handsome The Emperor Lays an Egg (Holt, 2001), which focuses on the chick, and Martin Jenkins's simpler, attractive The Emperor's Egg (Candlewick, 1999), which highlights the male's long vigil. Team Markle's book with either (or both) of the above, and toss Judy Sierra's rollicking Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems (Harcourt, 1998) into the mix for a nifty unit on Emperor penguins.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Accounts of how male Emperor penguins stand still for weeks to incubate their eggs while the females go off after food are easy to find on library shelves, but it's the male who usually gets most of the attention. Here, Markle follows a female from the nursery, over 50 miles of rugged Antarctic ice to open water and then deep into the sea, braving leopard seals and other dangers in a sustained effort to stockpile nourishment for the hungry chick that will, if all has gone well, be waiting on her return. Marks illustrates the journey with big moonlit, watercolor-on-wet-paper scenes that really bring out both the beauty and the harshness of the Antarctic winter; Markle describes the trek in simple, non-anthropomorphic language, then closes with additional facts, and leads to more. Sentimental title aside, this is sure to keep young nature lovers rapt, and carries added value for its unusual focus. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570916212
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD980L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 11.29 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Markle has written over seventy nonfiction books for young readers, including her Growing Up Wild and Outside and Inside series. Her books have won awards from the Boston Globe/Horn Book, NSTA/CBC, ABA, and ALA. She lives in Florida.
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