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There is a deserted bay on a small island off Antigua where hawksbill turtles crawl ashore at night during the mating season to lay their eggs. Two months later the hatchlingseach weighing less than an ounceemerge from the sand and scramble to the sea in the moonlight. Only a lucky few survive. Mary Beth Owens was inspired by her admiration and concern for these critically endangered animals to write and illustrate this beautiful book. The narratora craggy, ancient jumby tree that stands sentinel over the bayobserves a hawksbill’s arrival by night, her arduous trek to excavate a nest and bury her eggs, her solitary return to the sea, and the later diaspora of her hatchlings. Spare prose complements pages saturated with Caribbean color or brooding in ghostly moonlight.
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About the Author
MARY BETH OWENS (Newcastle, ME) is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, among them Panda Whispers, Caribou Alphabet, Counting Cranes, and Be Blest: A Celebration of Seasons. She incorporates her passion for the natural world with her enthusiasm for children’s books and teaching art. Research trips have taken her to study caribou in northern Maine, whooping cranes in New Mexico and Texas, sea turtles in Antigua, and marsupials in Australia.