The Eagle and the Wren

Overview

Jane Goodall retells a beloved story from her own childhood—a fable that illustrates how we depend on each other for help and support throughout our lives

When the birds of the world squabble about who can fly the highest, the owl devises a contest to settle the question. As one by one various contestants drop out, only the eagle remains, soaring high above the earth. However, the wren, stowed away in the eagle’s feathers, suddenly appears and uses him as a launching pad to fly ...

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Overview

Jane Goodall retells a beloved story from her own childhood—a fable that illustrates how we depend on each other for help and support throughout our lives

When the birds of the world squabble about who can fly the highest, the owl devises a contest to settle the question. As one by one various contestants drop out, only the eagle remains, soaring high above the earth. However, the wren, stowed away in the eagle’s feathers, suddenly appears and uses 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. Goodall continues the theme in an afterword, explaining how “we all need an eagle” and sharing insights on those who have played that role in her own life. Reichstein’s 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.

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: 9789888240890
  • Publisher: Minedition
  • Publication date: 9/1/2014
  • Series: minedition minibooks Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 150,539
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years

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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