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The Far Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer

The Far Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer

5.0 1
by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
What would it take for one small hummingbird to complete an extraordinary journey? Author Reynolds answers this question in her story of the migratory flight of Homer the hummingbird from South America to the United States. The story makes a great start and flows up the coast with Homer, but a few vague references and ideas make Homer's flight more difficult to follow. It is very clear that Homer begins his journey in the rain forests of Costa Rica, but the story is not clear about where his travels end. It would enhance the story to have a map of Homer's travels included in the book. The people who help Homer on his journey are real and compassionate, and make great contributions to both Homer and the story as a whole. The reader will enjoy traveling with Homer and meeting diverse characters, like the farmer who saves Homer's life, the people he flies by in a hot air balloon, and the artist who looks for his return every year. The story is well written, and the repetition of the phrase where Homer "flies, flies, and flies some more" bring to life the length of the little bird's journey. The "Did you know?" section about hummingbirds at the end of the book is an excellent reference and shows the author has done her homework. Beautiful paintings by artist McClung bring Homer's travels alive, although, occasionally, he is difficult to spot in some of the paintings. Homer's story is an excellent introduction to migration of birds between continents. Although there are one or two uncertainties about where home is, Homer's story is a joy to read. 2005, Mitten Press, Ages 6 to 8.
—Caitlyn Payne
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Embedded in this fictional account of the migration of a ruby-throated hummingbird is basic information about these tiny birds. Homer's perilous flight takes him from the Costa Rican cloud forest across miles of ocean before he reaches land again. As he flies north, humans help revive him from torpor twice before he reaches an artist's garden. There he encounters Ruby, a female that builds a nest and hatches two young. In September Homer leaves on his journey south. McClung's soft-focus watercolors are varied and appealing; her birds and flowers are expertly rendered. Reynolds walks a fine line between treating Homer as a real bird and as a tiny winged human. She succeeds for the most part, although a bit of anthropomorphism does creep into the text. Kristine O'Connell George's Hummingbird Nest (Harcourt, 2004) documents the author's personal encounter with a hummingbird. Irene Kelly's It's a Hummingbird's Life (Holiday House, 2003) follows the creature's migration from north to south, and Esther Quesada Tyrrell's Hummingbirds: Jewels in the Sky (Random, 1992) offers amazing close-up photographs and more detailed information about other species. Homer is a good introduction to the subject, particularly for students who live in areas where they might observe these birds.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The title isn't all that's wordy in this new publisher's debut offering, but Reynolds's tale of a ruby-throated hummingbird's journey from a Costa Rican rain forest to a favorite garden on the U.S.'s eastern seaboard will leave young readers wowed by the tiny bird's endurance and toughness. Along the way, Homer faces dangers as diverse as a hungry frog, hundreds of miles of open water and a very cold night. ("That bird was in a deep sleep called torpor and he woke up," a man explains after the seemingly dead hummingbird takes wing from his pocket.) He eventually hooks up with both an artist who keeps the feeder outside her window filled, and with his similarly migratory mate Ruby. Like Gay W. Holland's art in April Pulley Sayre's The Hungry Hummingbird (2001), McClung's soft-lined paintings create verdant natural settings, while capturing the hummer's jewel-like colors and zippy energy. Plenty of child appeal here, in topic and presentation both. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)

Product Details

Mitten Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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The Far Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Homer the hummingbird had far to travel from the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica to grace the gardens and landscape in Michigan. Artist Catherine McClung has filled this 32 page children's book with illustrations of Homer and his travel adventure. There is definately nothing ordinary about the appearance of Homer or the birds or animals who have been illustrated in this hardcover book. The garden scenes, flowers and landscape in the pages are a gardener's paradise. 'Paragraph' The writing of Cynthia Furlong Reynolds makes it clear to see why she received a 2002 Michigan Book of Excellence Award. This story would be incomplete without the illustrations of Catherine McClung. Her knowledge of birds and the gardens that they grace is evident through her artwork which has extended beyond the boundaries of the Michigan borders. Ducks Unlimited, conservation groups and the White House have been among those who have admired her work with recognition. 'Paragraph' The journey of Homer the hummingbird is one that is almost extroadinary. It is within the tropical blooms of the Monteverdel Cloud Forest of Costa Rica that Homer began his journey. Author Cynthia Furlong Reynolds explained through the pages of this story that 'birds of every color, size and shape chirp for attention and compete for food.' She further elaborated that the birds 'soar, swoop and salsay.' Through this tropical scene, Homer 'darts among the tropical blooms.' 'Paragraph' The partially global journey of Homer is one filled with unexpected twists and an assortment of dangers. The assortment of dangers include a hungry frog, hundreds of miles of open water and extremely cold nights. An escorted trip in the shirt pocket of a man who found Homer is one of the unexpected twists that Homer encountered. This was the result of Homer being in a torpor defined as a 'deep sleep' by the author. A wing extending from the pocket of the man creates an interesting scene for everyone. 'Paragraph' A sense of how hummingbirds live is gleemed from the pages of this story. There are 338 species of hummingbirds. All of them share a need for food, sleep, exercise and a comfortable nest for themselves and family. The way that these needs are accomplished by Homer is explained with detail through the pages of this story. 'Paragraph' This book includes simple suggestions for the care of hummingbirds. A 'sugar water solution' placed into the hummingbird's feeder provides a simple explanation and beautiful illustration for feeding hummingbirds. This is something that can be easily put into practice. Finding a hummingbird recipe might require time and writing a lesson plan. The illustrations would be good examples to show to a classroom in a variety of lesson plans about hummingbirds. 'Paragraph' This story has been written for a children's audience. Bird enthusiasts would also enjoy this book and the illustrations within the pages. The word and writing can be a constructive challenge for upper elementary school students. It would be good reading material for a science class or a child's science project.