Hawk Rising

Maria Gianferrari, illus. by Brian Floca. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-096-1
The spare, poetic prose of Gianferrari (Hello Goodbye Dog) joins the realistic watercolors of Floca (Princess Cora and the Crocodile) to present a day in the life of a red-tailed hawk. “Hooked beak, sharp as a knife./ Head turning./ Eyes searching./ Chicks waiting.” Muted hues illustrate moments from Father Hawk’s day as he scans for prey, sunbathes, dives after a chipmunk and sparrows, and finally snags a squirrel to bring back to the nest. All this plays out under the scrutinizing eyes of two young bird-watchers: a girl and her younger sister in a suburban neighborhood, who use binoculars to follow the progress of the feathered hunter. The second-person narration draws parallels between the girls and the hawk, as it also invites readers to imagine themselves in the scenes: “Chicks waiting./ You watching.” Painted from varying angles, dynamic spreads and vignettes present the shifting perspectives of bird-watcher, hawk, and prey. The clever pacing and placement of text match the bird’s actions across, up, and down the page. This captivating introduction to the red-tailed hawk concludes with more than a half-dozen facts about the common bird of prey and further reading. Ages 4–8. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
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