Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators

Overview

Acclaimed naturalist and illustrator Jim Arnosky helps birds and imaginations take glorious flight in this breathtaking nonfiction picture book with six giant gatefolds.
Arnosky will draw out kids' inner explorer as he explains why there are no feathers on a vulture's head, which bird is the deep-diving champ, what makes an owls's wings perfectly silent in flight, and much more.
Readers can use this gorgeously...
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Overview

Acclaimed naturalist and illustrator Jim Arnosky helps birds and imaginations take glorious flight in this breathtaking nonfiction picture book with six giant gatefolds.
Arnosky will draw out kids' inner explorer as he explains why there are no feathers on a vulture's head, which bird is the deep-diving champ, what makes an owls's wings perfectly silent in flight, and much more.
Readers can use this gorgeously illustrated book to bring the wilderness right into their rooms-or as a guide on their next expedition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Marvel at these awe-inspiring creatures with us," invites author and illustrator Arnosky in this enriching avian celebration. Foldout pages group birds according to species and common characteristics. Lifelike owls peer at readers with deep, glassy eyes; in a section featuring birds of prey, an osprey's spectacular wing spans three panels, and journallike passages vividly document Arnosky's observations of each bird: "The pelican was catching raindrops to quench its thirst! Suddenly, I wanted to go out in the downpour and drink rainwater too." Arnosky's enthusiasm is evident in his deftly crafted images and in the immediacy of his "field-note" style. Ages 6–up. (May)
From the Publisher
*"From the powerful osprey on the jacket with its outstretched wing and glittering eyes, through eagles and owls, herons and vultures, and loons and pelicans, Arnosky's painterly eye and literary hand portray more than 20 “flying predators.” The brief text is both informative and personal, if not in-depth. Readers are told that vultures have bare heads for “cleaner” feeding in and on a carcass as a practical matter, and given a personal touch of watching a thirsty brown pelican catch raindrops during a coastal downpour. Accompanying the masterful acrylics, myriad pencil sketches illuminate the margins surrounding the text, ranging from a great blue heron's spidery footprint to an actual-size eagle's foot, talons and all. The author supplies a list of birding sites, bird books, and a metric equivalency chart. Six foldout pages allow for the life-size illustrations. Elegant in format and artwork, this book will not accompany young birders into the field, but will be a rich resource for remembering special sightings, and inspire them to keep their eyes on the sky." —School Library Journal (starred review)
 
"A baleful osprey holding a rainbow trout in its talons glares at readers from the cover of this elegant introduction to predator birds, Arnosky's latest exploration of the natural world. With oversized pages and four fold-outs showing accurately depicted, sometimes life-size images, the artist and famed wildlife watcher introduces eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, herons and pelicans. He begins, appropriately, with a bald eagle, shown at half its actual size, and a meticulous, full-sized drawing of an eagle foot. Inside the first gate-fold, the osprey, wing outstretched, shares space with comparable heads and silhouettes-a golden eagle, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon. With only a few paragraphs of text for each bird family and plenty of extended captions, the book economically yet thoroughly covers a great deal. Full-bleed paintings in acrylic and white chalk pencil include many close-ups, showing heads, eyes and beaks. Sketches show the separated tips of wing feathers and feathered feet that allow owls to fly silently, the heron's forward-facing eyes and the pelican's expanding throat pouch. In an afterword, the author reminds readers that these birds can be seen in American refuges and sanctuaries today and provides a list of some he and his wife have visited in their research. 'Nature's flying predators are magnificent creatures,' the author writes, and this is a deserved celebration. (bibliography, metric equivalents)" —Kirkus Reviews  

"Marvel at these awe-inspiring creatures with us," invites author and illustrator Arnosky in this enriching avian celebration. Foldout pages group birds according to species and common characteristics. Lifelike owls peer at readers with deep, glassy eyes; in a section featuring birds of prey, an osprey's spectacular wing spans three panels, and journallike passages vividly document Arnosky's observations of each bird: "The pelican was catching raindrops to quench its thirst! Suddenly, I wanted to go out in the downpour and drink rainwater too." Arnosky's enthusiasm is evident in his deftly crafted images and in the immediacy of his 'field-note' style." —Publishers Weekly 
 
"After revisiting favorite birding spots with his wife and 'partner in adventure,' Deanna, Arnosky offers a beautifully illustrated book featuring large avian predators: eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, herons, egrets, pelicans, loons, cormorants, and gannets. Beside paragraphs introducing each bird or group of birds, the book offers impressive, often full-size acrylic paintings illustrating, for instance, an osprey with one wing fully extended or a close-up 'group portrait' of owls that shows their relative sizes. In addition, small black-and-gray silhouettes illustrate an eagle, a hawk, and a falcon in flight, and shaded pencil drawings show details such as a pelican's pouch expanding as it traps a fish underwater. Whether holding a wounded wild eagle as a biologist stitches his wing muscle or watching a flock of vultures as they feed on an alligator carcass, Arnosky's experiences with birds form a memorable counterpoint to the information provided. An author's note lists the parks, refuges, and sanctuaries visited and recommends books for further reading." —Booklist
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Praise for Wild Tracks!:
2009 ALA Notable
Named to 2008 School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year List
2008 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award
*This is a splendid example of Arnosky's skill at making natural history come alive for young readers.” -Kirkus (starred review)
 
 
Praise for Slither and Crawl:
2009 Parents' Choice List of Recommended Titles
“Arnosky's painterly eye and personal observations match handsomely in this face-to-face experience…outstanding acrylics.” -School Library Journal (Starred Review)

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—From the powerful osprey on the jacket with its outstretched wing and glittering eyes, through eagles and owls, herons and vultures, and loons and pelicans, Arnosky's painterly eye and literary hand portray more than 20 "flying predators." The brief text is both informative and personal, if not in-depth. Readers are told that vultures have bare heads for "cleaner" feeding in and on a carcass as a practical matter, and given a personal touch of watching a thirsty brown pelican catch raindrops during a coastal downpour. Accompanying the masterful acrylics, myriad pencil sketches illuminate the margins surrounding the text, ranging from a great blue heron's spidery footprint to an actual-size eagle's foot, talons and all. The author supplies a list of birding sites, bird books, and a metric equivalency chart. Six foldout pages allow for the life-size illustrations. Elegant in format and artwork, this book will not accompany young birders into the field, but will be a rich resource for remembering special sightings, and inspire them to keep their eyes on the sky.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A baleful osprey holding a rainbow trout in its talons glares at readers from the cover of this elegant introduction to predator birds, Arnosky's latest exploration of the natural world. With oversized pages and four fold-outs showing accurately depicted, sometimes life-size images, the artist and famed wildlife watcher introduces eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, herons and pelicans. He begins, appropriately, with a bald eagle, shown at half its actual size, and a meticulous, full-sized drawing of an eagle foot. Inside the first gate-fold, the osprey, wing outstretched, shares space with comparable heads and silhouettes—a golden eagle, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon. With only a few paragraphs of text for each bird family and plenty of extended captions, the book economically yet thoroughly covers a great deal. Full-bleed paintings in acrylic and white chalk pencil include many close-ups, showing heads, eyes and beaks. Sketches show the separated tips of wing feathers and feathered feet that allow owls to fly silently, the heron's forward-facing eyes and the pelican's expanding throat pouch. In an afterword, the author reminds readers that these birds can be seen in American refuges and sanctuaries today and provides a list of some he and his wife have visited in their research. "Nature's flying predators are magnificent creatures," the author writes, and this is a deserved celebration.(bibliography, metric equivalents) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402756610
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 467,078
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Arnosky
Jim Arnosky
Jim Arnosky lives in South Ryegate, Vermont.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Engaging and powerful-terrific to engage kids to birding!

    I have enjoyed Jim Arnosky's whole series of books on nature for kids but this is the best! Together with a field trip the book would make anyone a birdwatcher.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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