On the Wing

Overview

David Elliott’s witty verse takes flight with gorgeous illustrations in an enchanting look at fifteen avian species for birders of all ages.

Take to the sky to explore a glorious array of all things avian, from the tiny, restless hummingbird to the inscrutable horned owl to the majestic bald eagle. David Elliott and Becca Stadtlander bestow a sense of wonder onto such common birdfeeder visitors as the sparrow, the crow, and the cardinal and capture the exotic beauty of far-flung...

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Overview

David Elliott’s witty verse takes flight with gorgeous illustrations in an enchanting look at fifteen avian species for birders of all ages.

Take to the sky to explore a glorious array of all things avian, from the tiny, restless hummingbird to the inscrutable horned owl to the majestic bald eagle. David Elliott and Becca Stadtlander bestow a sense of wonder onto such common birdfeeder visitors as the sparrow, the crow, and the cardinal and capture the exotic beauty of far-flung fowl like the Andean condor, the Australian pelican, and the Caribbean flamingo. Concise, clever verse from an award-winning author pairs with striking artwork from a debut illustrator to make this a true pleasure for anyone who loves birds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/21/2014
Elliott (On the Farm; In the Wild) adds a celebration of birds to his collection of lighthearted animal poetry. The subjects range from familiar backyard neighbors to birds best from nature documentaries: the Andean condor, the puffin, and the bowerbird (“Nature’s fussy,/ lovesick architect”). Some are described in rhyming verse, while others are captured in telegraphic, haikulike fragments. In “The Macaw,” accompanied by newcomer Stadtlander’s painting of the bird’s wildly colored plumage, Elliott writes simply, “Who/ spilled/ the/ paint?” Stadtlander has the challenging job of following in the footsteps of Elliott’s late collaborator Holly Meade (to whom Elliott dedicates this book). Stadtlander paints the birds with meticulous care, framing them against majestic, muted backgrounds whose overcast skies lend a somber feel. In one spread, the bent legs and swooping necks of courting Japanese cranes form an elegant frieze of classical dimensions. While the seriousness of the images is sometimes at cross-purposes with Elliott’s humor, it’s just right for the poet’s more lyrical moments, as when a bald eagle “circles like a prayer,/ on the rising columns/ of the shining,/ sun-warmed air.” Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
In this carefully planned book, readers simultaneously learn key facts about a variety of birds, absorb different forms of poetry and revel in beautiful artwork. ... The gouache artwork perfectly matches the varying tones and forms of the poetry, which ranges from the humorous one-sentence poem for the macaw to literary accolades for the albatross to philosophizing about the Andean condor’s dark secrets. ... The power of good poetry glides along through the final three pages, which note that the bald eagle doesn’t know the term "bird of prey / though he circles like a prayer // on the rising columns / of the shining, / sun-warmed air." From the graceful cranes flying across its wraparound cover to the single feather on the title page to the soaring eagle at the end, this book astounds.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763653248
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

David Elliott is the award-winning author of many books for children, including several books of poetry for the very young, On the Farm, In the Wild, and In the Sea, all illustrated by Holly Meade. He lives in Warner, New Hampshire.

Becca Stadtlander was raised in Kentucky and received her BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute of Art. This is her first picture book. She lives in Middletown, Rhode Island.

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