Ed Young, . . Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-363-2
Caldecott Medal–winner Young's enchanting story about an orphaned bald eagle discovered by a Native American boy is set against a vast landscape of canyon, mountain and spruce, as spare as the author's text (“An abandoned egg. A young boy”). The raptor (“a strange chick”) is hatched and raised by the boy's hen, who calls him Hook after his curved yellow beak. She quickly perceives his true nature—“You are not meant for earth,” she tells him. Young's pastels, a series of sketches on speckled burnt sienna paper, glow with life. The judicious use of detail is highly effective, and the birds possess an uncanny accuracy. Hook can't work out how to fly, so under a blackened predawn sky the boy takes him to the canyon. The mountains, stained blue in the dawn, look on as Hook is launched from the canyon precipice. Against a shimmering mountain blur, the young eagle plummets—then, in triumph, rights himself and soars. A powerful blend of language,imagery and emotion. Ages 2–6.
Reviewed on: 04/27/2009