Illustrated with spectacular paintings, Swimming Home tells the compelling story of a school of alewives (river herring) as they return to their natal lake to spawn. But a newly built culvert blocks their way. Will this be the end of their journey? An epic animal migration story in the tradition of March of the Penguins.The story follows a school of fish (river herring, or alewives) on a journey of hundreds of miles, escaping porpoises, seals, eagles, and herons.Swimming Home is also the moving story of a boy and his father who see the fish stopped just short of their goal by a new road, and transport them across the last hundred feet.The Tilbury House Nature Book series brings the natural world to life for young readers without anthropomorphizing animals. Each book aims for the highest standards of scientific accuracy and storytelling magic.
About the Author
Hand Shetterly writes about wildlife and wildlands for adult and youth audiences.
Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture,
derived from her affinity with the natural world around her studio in East Blue
Hill, Maine. In Rebekah’s words, “My early interest in animals of all kinds continues to be the focus of
my painting and sculpture. Our pet chickens, geese, and catsas well as the wild fox, bobcat,
crows, and deerare my inspiration. The more I learn about the animals I
paint, the more I understand how we are all related.” Rebekah’s award-winning children’s books include The Very Best
Bed, Bear-ly There, The Secret Pool, and Swimming Home, all published by Tilbury House.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Do you know what an alewife is? No, it’s not a woman married to a tavern keeper, although many think that the name may have come from that idea. Alewives, also known as river herring or sawbellies, are fish which live in the western North Atlantic Ocean and swim up the rivers and streams of the eastern coast of North America to spawn in their home freshwater lakes and ponds. Pesca is the leader of an alewife school. She brings her followers on a journey of hundreds of miles, through the ocean and up the stream past porpoises, a humpback whale, a harbor seal, a bald eagle, a blue heron, and beavers, on their way to Lily Lake. However, towards the end they come to a pipe under a new road that is much too high for them to reach. What will they do? Is there anyone to help them? Will they ever make it? This Tilbury House Nature Book is an epic animal migration story in the tradition of March of the Penguins. It is an excellent introduction for young readers to the concept of animal migration, and it also shows how even small human actions can either hinder or help the flow of nature. Author Susan Hand Shetterly, a former wild bird rehabilitator, lives in Maine near an alewife run. She has written about wildlife and wildlands for adult and youth audiences for over twenty years. Swimming Home is illustrated with spectacular paintings by Rebekah Raye, who is also the illustrator of The Secret Pool, a Kirkus-starred picture book about vernal pools and winner of the 2014 John Burroughs Association Riverby Award. An “Author’s Note” at the end provides even more information about alewives and their life cycle. The book is a wonderful way for youngsters to learn about a very important scientific concept.