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back cover -"My heart soared at Wisdom's amazing story!"
---Kirby Larson, Author of Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Newbery Honor Medalist for Hattie Big Sky
Posted February 22, 2012
As an educator and librarian, I am constantly searching for books that will feed my hungry readers - boys and girls. Wisdom is perfect for the task. I have two libraries that I am responsible for making purchases for. K-4 and 5-8. Ms. Pattison's book is the ideal read not only for the facts surrounding Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, but because of the format of the book. The pictures are phenomenal and the story unfolds in such a way that it draws my students (even the relunctant readers) into the storyline immediately. This book will touch your heart and leave footprints on your memory. Love it. We could all learn lessons of wisdom from this amazing creature. Thank you, Ms. Pattison.
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Posted March 30, 2012
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On December10, 1956, early in my first visit to Midway, I banded 99 incubating Laysan Albatrosses in the ‘downtown’ area of Sand Island, Midway. Wisdom (band number 587-51945), is still alive, healthy, and incubating again in December of 2011. While I have grown old and gray and get around only with the use of a cane, Wisdom still looks and acts just the same as on the day I banded her . . . remarkable true story . . . beautifully illustrated in color. –Chandler S. Robbins, Sc.D, Senior Scientist (Retired), USGS Patuxent Wildllife Research Center, Laurel, MD
Wisdom is a Laysan Albatross, a wild bird from the Hawaiian Island of Laysan, about 800 miles northwest of Honolulu. Laysan is a low laying sand island, very important as a breeding ground for Hawaiian monk seals and several species of sea birds, including the albatross. Wisdom was first banded by scientists in 1956, but no one knows for sure when she was born. Wisdom is a tough bird. She has weathered earthquakes that caused tsunamis,’ tropical storms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and man-made dangers such as plastics and fishing lines. In 2011, Wisdom, at age 61, laid her thirty-fifth egg. Her chick is apparently as tough a bird as its mother. When a terrible storm washed ashore 110,000 chicks and 2,000 adults died. Wisdom’s chick survived.
This is one heck of a story. Wisdom seems to be Super Bird having survived all of the dangers of living in the Pacific Ocean—or rather soaring above it. The author has done extensive research on Wisdom, speaking with those who actually monitored albatrosses from Laysan. The story reads like a biography, but without the red-herrings. This book will be a wonderful resource for the elementary grades. There is so much to learn about the oldest known bird in the Pacific Ocean. Wisdom, the Mid-way Albatross is a story of sheer determination.
The illustrations are excellent at capturing the beauty of the region. I love the double spread of Wisdom soaring above the ocean. To think she soared for five or six years is simply remarkable. On the cover, Wisdom pops right out at you, thanks to a black background. This cover will be easy to find on any bookshelf. Between the author and the illustrator, Wisdom, the Mid-way Albatross is a stunning story of one bird’s life journey against seemingly insurmountable natural and artificial disasters. Wisdom is not only a wonderful resource for elementary schools, it is interesting reading for adults, such as myself, who learned so much from the text, the references in the back, and all the side journeys from wanting to know more about the region and the birds. A smart student is going to take these interesting facts and exciting story and turn them into an A+ book report.
note: received book from the author: Darcy Pattison