Narrated in journal entries from the point of view of a red knot--a robin-sized shore bird that migrates 20,000 miles annually, from the tip of South America to the Arctic Circle and back--this book depicts one such dramatic journey in stunningly detailed colored-pencil illustrations of the flight over the Atlantic Ocean, a landing in Delaware Bay, the northern nesting grounds, chicks feeding on hatching insects, a close call with an arctic fox, and the return home. At the heart of the story is a message about conservation: the birds stop only a few times as they travel and always in the same coastal areas where dwindling food supplies have caused a precipitous decline in their numbers over the past decade. Science concepts such as animal life cycles, climate, extinction, the food chain, and migration are introduced by information about how bird-banding and protecting the horseshoe crab--whose eggs are a principal food for red knots--can help them survive. A four-page appendix includes a map of the western hemisphere, a range and route map for migrating birds, a glossary, a timeline, and the history and conservation of red knots. This book was the first runner up in the Children's category for the 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award.
First Runner Up, Children's Category, The 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Awards:
"Bird migration is the subject of this beautiful book on bird life. This isn't a dry ecology book full of facts and figures."
"Willis has taken decades of research and reduced it to an illustrated, simple, and straightforward story of migration wonder."
--Brian A. Harrington, author,
Flight of the Red Knot
"This beautifully illustrated book teaches children about this amazing species, currently in serious decline." --Russell W. Peterson, former governor, Delaware; past president, National Audubon Society
"This lovely book gets the message across to children that we need to care for our environment."
--Nigel A. Clark, head of projects, British Trust for Ornithology"
"Will advance the education of children and adults about critical issues surrounding the annual shorebird and horseshoe crab migrations." --Michael E. Riska, executive director, Delaware Nature Society
"Willis' birds are beautifully drawn and are a great addition to the text."
--Greg Butcher, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society