The Eagles Are Back

Jean Craighead George, illus. by Wendell Minor. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3771-6
In this inspiring companion to The Wolves Are Back and The Buffalo Are Back, Minor and the late George complete a trio of “environmental success stories that show us it is possible to preserve nature for future generations,” as Minor puts it in his acknowledgments. The book retains the economical prose of its predecessors, though a pair of central human characters—a boy and a park ranger who share a passion for endangered bald eagles—give this story an added intimacy for readers. The bald eagle’s numbers had dropped from half a million when the Founding Fathers named it the national bird to less than 1,000, due in large part to the use of the pesticide DDT. The ranger and boy attempt to get a pair of bald eagles, named Uncle Sam and First Lady, to adopt an egg that has been brought in from Alaska after the birds’ own eggs were destroyed. Minor’s gouache and watercolor are characteristically majestic—from the eagles’ delicate feathers and thatched nests to the cloudy blue skies and bright forests around them, every spread is thick with texture and detail. Ages 6–8. (Mar.)■
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 03/21/2013
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