King of the Birds

Shirley Climo, Author, Ruth Heller, Illustrator, Ruth Heller, Photographer Crowell $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-690-04621-2
Climo has created a lively, elegant version of an ancient legend: how the birds, long ago, determined their king. Mother Owl decrees that whoever flies highest and longest should reign; clever Wren wins the contest by hitching a ride, piggyback, with Eagle, and spreading his own wings only when the great bird tires. Wren's resourcefulness serves him well as ruler, for he puts an end to the birds' quarreling by assigning each its own place on the Earthon land, in the water, on clifftops or in bushesuntil peace is at last restored. Heller's brilliantly colored fowl lend majesty to this classic tale; her paintings are notable for both their detailed realism and striking composition. But, because most of the illustrations portray birds against plain backgrounds rather than fully rendered scenes, they do not capture the motion of the birds' flight nor reflect the escalating drama of the racethe only flaw in an otherwise satisfying work. Ages 4-8. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-06-443273-3
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-690-04623-6
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