Nights of the Pufflings

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On a tiny island off the coast of Iceland, Halla and her friends wait with anticipation. Every spring, millions of puffins, the clowns of the sea, return to nest, lay eggs, and raise their chicks to pufflings. That means Halla and her friends will be busy in August when the pufflings venture out at night to take their first flight. Then, all of the children stay out all night, too. During the nights of the pufflings they rescue thousands of stranded young birds, and in the daytime set them safely free at the ...

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Overview

On a tiny island off the coast of Iceland, Halla and her friends wait with anticipation. Every spring, millions of puffins, the clowns of the sea, return to nest, lay eggs, and raise their chicks to pufflings. That means Halla and her friends will be busy in August when the pufflings venture out at night to take their first flight. Then, all of the children stay out all night, too. During the nights of the pufflings they rescue thousands of stranded young birds, and in the daytime set them safely free at the beach. In Nights of the Pufflings, Bruce McMillan captures the unique and endearing story of an island tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fine book to foster empathy in young people as well as to inform them." School Library Journal, Starred
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
This beautifully photographed book manages to teach some natural history, expose children to an unfamiliar culture, and convey the sense that children can make a difference in our world. In Iceland, children scan the skies for the arrival of the breeding pufflings. Once the chicks called pufflings are ready to leave the children rescue hundreds of the birds stranded in town after being disoriented by the lights. The pufflings are lovingly taken to the sea and released.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
When baby puffins born on Heimaey (HAY-mah-ay) Island, Iceland, make their maiden flights from hillside burrows to the sea, some land instead on city streets, disoriented by their lights. Island children stay awake during those nights to rescue the chicks from prowling dogs or cats. Mr. McMillan follows two elementary graders and their friends as they observe the puffin parents return to their island burrows to raise families. On the Nights of the Pufflings, the children gather up the grounded birds who've lost their way to the sea, carry them to the shore, and toss them out to safety.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Excitement mounts each year as millions of puffins come ashore to nest on an Icelandic island. Crystal-clear photos document the cycle and the unique role that the village children have come to play in launching the fledgling flyers. (Mar. 1995)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-An extremely handsome photo essay that shows a breeding season in a colony of North Atlantic puffins on Heimaey, largest of the Westmann Islands off the southwest coast of Iceland. McMillan hangs his informative text on the framework of young Halla and her friends, who await the first flight of the pufflings with eager joy. Many of these fledglings fail to reach the sea on this maiden flight, landing in Halla's village below the cliffs. Here the children wait, armed with cardboard boxes and flashlights, racing to rescue the pufflings before they become prey for cats or dogs, or run over by passing vehicles. Staying up all night, sleeping late into the morning, the children spend two unusual weeks rescuing thousands of baby birds and releasing them to the sea. McMillan's crisp full-color photos record courting and nesting behavior of the puffins and the activities of the children waiting for and performing their rescues. A fine book to foster empathy in young people as well as to inform them, and to show them that children can make a difference in the world.-Patricia Manning, Eastchester Public Library, NY
Mary Harris Veeder
McMillan makes each bird, person, or place he photographs look special. In this book, he takes us to an island off the coast of Iceland, where Icelandic children and puffins alike seem alert and magical. On nights when the youngest puffins, called pufflings, take their first flight, the children organize to rescue the birds who don't make it to the sea. Readers will love the local custom as well as the fact that there's not a single adult shown organizing the lifesaving effort. The quality of light and the combination of crisp close-ups and beautiful landscapes that McMillan uses make every shot in the book seem to capture a perfect day.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395708101
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce McMillan has written and illustrated more children's books set in Iceland than any other United States author. Going Fishing is his sixth to be set there, and his forty-third overall. He often summers in Iceland, though he lives in Shapleigh, Maine. Bruce holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Maine and has received numerous awards and honors for his children's books.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2003

    Excellent Book

    My name is Najja I read the story The Nights of the Pufflings in class and i think the book is excellent. I recommend to all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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