Wisdom, the Midway Albatross
by Darcy Pattison (illustrated by Kitty Harvill)
Mim’s House, February 1, 2012
Reading level: 840L (grades 3–5)
How does a bird in the middle of the Pacific Ocean survive the 2011 Japanese tsunami and other dangers for over 60 years? No one really knows, but we do know for sure that Wisdom–the oldest known wild bird in the world–has.
This book introduces young readers to a single very special member of a largely unfamiliar species, the Laysan Albatross. Through this riveting survival story we not only grow to care about Wisdom herself, we also learn about the life cycle, habitat, and behavior of her kind. We see the many dangers they face, both natural and man-made. We learn how scientists are carefully studying them. And we cheer for the particularly resilient gooney bird who is eventually dubbed Wisdom.
Pattison does a great job of incorporating rhythm and repetition to make this an excellent choice for young readers and read alouds, and Harvill’s art is both beautiful and detailed, adding to the story and bringing Wisdom to life on every page. Children will be quickly swept up in the drama and suspense of Wisdom’s trials and will keep reading (or listening) to find out what happens to her next. Then, they’ll sigh with relief at the happy ending when Wisdom–somehow–still survives.
The book also includes acknowledgements, a Facts About Wisdom section, The Oldest Bird in the World timeline, a Typical Year for a Laysan Albatross timeline, a further reading list, and sections about both the author and illustrator. In addition, there’s a blog with lots of videos, pictures, and additional resources for students and teachers.
Yes, after reading this, I just had to become Facebook friends with Wisdom herself. Click here if you want to be, too!
Make sure to check out the other stops on Wisdom’s blog tour:
- Sue Heavenrich at Archimedes Notebook today,
- my author interview with Darcy Pattison here on 3/6/2012,
- Diane R. Chen Kelly at Practically Paradise on 3/9/2012, and
- Shirley Duke at Simply Science on 3/14/2012.
To check out the rest of today’s roundup of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics books for kids, head on over to this week’s STEM Friday host, NC Teacher Stuff!
(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.)