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The Eagle and the Wren

Overview

Who can fly the highest? "I can," claim the lark and the dove, the vulture--and of course the mighty eagle. With a great flapping of wings, and squawking and calling, the birds take to the air. It is a glorious contest, but the outcome surprises them all--especially the mighty eagle!Jane Goodall retells a beloved story from her own childhood --a fable for all times that illustrates how we depend on each other for help and support throughout our lives. Alexander Reichstein was born in Moscow. He is the illustrator...
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Overview

Who can fly the highest? "I can," claim the lark and the dove, the vulture--and of course the mighty eagle. With a great flapping of wings, and squawking and calling, the birds take to the air. It is a glorious contest, but the outcome surprises them all--especially the mighty eagle!Jane Goodall retells a beloved story from her own childhood --a fable for all times that illustrates how we depend on each other for help and support throughout our lives. Alexander Reichstein was born in Moscow. He is the illustrator of The Bear's Christmas by Brigitte Frey Moret, Hiding Horatio by Udo Weigelt, and Mina and the Bear by Sabine Jorg, all published by North-South Books.

When the birds have a contest to see which one can fly the higest, they all learn a valuable lesson about cooperation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The birds of the world squabble about who can fly the highest, and the owl devises a contest to settle the question. "The prose flows smoothly enough," wrote PW, "and the illustrations of the winged creatures are meticulously crafted." Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
World-renowned chimpanzee authority Goodall (Dr. White) retells a favorite fable from her childhood, closing with a personal anecdote. The birds of the world squabble about who can fly the highest, and the owl devises a contest to settle the question. Goodall inserts a few amusing references: the dove mentions its key role in Noah's story, the land-bound ostrich takes consolation in its wings' part in securing a mate. As one by one various contestants drop out, only the eagle remains, soaring high above the earth. A surprise stowaway in his feathers (the wren) suddenly appears, using him as a launching pad to fly even higher. When they arrive back on the ground, the owl drives home the story's moral of togetherness and teamwork. If the conclusion overstates the obvious, Goodall's prose flows smoothly enough, and she continues the book's theme in an afterword ("We all need an eagle"), sharing insights on those who have played that role in her own life. Reichstein's (Mina and the Bear) illustrations of the winged creatures are meticulously crafted, and the timeless, sweeping expanse of blue sky along with the heavenwards-slanted text creates a soft visual echo of the story's soaring motif. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"None of us can fly very high by ourselves. We all need an eagle. We need the help of other people as we struggle upward." Goodall writes this at the close of the fable which she first heard as a young child. A long time ago, the birds were all boasting about who could fly the highest. Wise owl settles the dispute by organizing a contest. Amid lots of squawking and hooting the birds take to the air. One by one they return to earth and are greeted by flightless ostrich, who assures all that each bird's height of flying is to serve a different purpose. At the end, the mighty eagle is surprised to see that a tiny wren has soared above him. How could this be? A poignant story is woven between beautiful illustrations that gracefully capture the essence of flying. Children will want to touch the pictures again and again, as they learn that each of us depends on others. 2000, Michael Neugebauer/Nord-Sud Verlag, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this elegant picture book, Goodall retells a favorite childhood fable about which of the birds can fly the highest. Her formal language, in which the ostrich states, "I can't fly and I'm certainly not ashamed of that. I use my wings in the beautiful dance that wins me my bride," adds dignity to the varied avian personalities. Tiny wren secretly piggybacks on the eagle, soars up slightly higher for a peek around, then concedes contest victory to the friend that made it possible. Goodall's rhythms make for a dramatic read-aloud, and the presentation is further embellished by realistically rendered depictions of owls, ostriches, and vultures, among many others. Reichstein displays marvelous line and watercolor and gouache vistas of sky, varying enough to keep the dominance of blue interesting. The continually shrinking views of the ground as the eagle soars, open romantic visions of farms, castles, sailing ships, and mountains. The naturalistic scene of the vulture's slightly bloodied meal is shown from a distance and misted to soften reality. At the end, readers share in wren's gratitude for the eagle's amazing view and for the benefits of teamwork.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735813809
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.73 (w) x 11.57 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is an anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace, widely known for her studies of chimpanzees, for conservation, and for animal welfare. Alexander Reichstein has worked for various international publishers, designing and illustrating books for adults and children for more than 30 years. He studied printed media design and illustration at the Moscow Polygraphical Institute.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2001

    Learn Nature Lessons from Dr. Jane Goodall's Life

    This book contains the retold fable of the eagle and the wren, which was a favorite bedtime story of Dr. Jane Goodall and her sister, Judy, when they were girls. In addition, Dr. Goodall has an epilogue in which she describes her interpretation of the fable in terms of her own life. The book also contains luscious, detailed pastel drawings that add a majesty and grandeur to the tale. You will feel like you are seeing the world from a bird's eye view . . . way up on high! It's beautifully peaceful there. That's a nice way to end a bedtime story. The story begins when all the birds have an argument about who can fly the highest. Everyone loudly proclaims their superiority. Finally, owl points out that a contest can quickly settle this dispute. Off they go. Many of the birds don't actually go very high. When they return to Earth, they are comforted by the ostrich (who, of course, cannot fly at all) who notes that they have each done the best that they can. Some are distracted (like the vulture) and don't continue the contest. Finally, there seems to be a winner. Just then, an O. Henry style twist occurs to turn the contest onto its head. 'How can you fly so high?' The answer to that question will open up important lessons about the potential for cooperation. What is impossible for one is often easy for several. Many people go throughout their lives without ever understanding that point. Anyone who has read this story will always know differently. That can be the beginning of many wonderful joint accomplishments and collaborations in life. Dr. Goodall's epilogue uses the eagle in the story as a metaphor for her life as an outstanding scientist. 'We all need an eagle.' 'I like to think of all these people [who helped me] as the feathers on my eagle.' 'Each one has played an important role.' ' . . . [M]y eagle is part of the great spirit power that is all around us.' Almost all children's stories emphasize individual competition. This one celebrates cooperation. Every child deserves a chance to hear the cooperative side of that choice. This book is a superb way to open up that understanding. After you finish enjoying the story together with your child, I suggest that you think together of places and situations where two or more animals, people, or combinations thereof can accomplish more together than singly. Let you child come up with the examples. That will deepen the significance of the lesson for her or him. You can cooperate by praising the ideas. Like Dr. Jane Goodall, her staff, and the chimpanzees in the Gombe Preserve in Tanzania, may you and your child live in peaceful cooperation with all the living creatures around you! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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