Please support the ASLC with Free Registration and get access to all our reviews

Author: Thornhill, Jan
Illustrator: Thornhill, Jan
Publisher: Groundwood Books House of Anansi Press
Year Published: 2016
ISBN: 9781554988655
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk

Reviewed by:

Awards:  Finalist – 2017 Governor General’s Literary Awards – Young People’s Literature – Illustration

In this narrative non-fiction picture book for upper elementary students, Jan Thornhill tells the story of the Great Auk that led to its extinction in 1844.

This large cold water bird was prolific before the Americas were inhabited.  Thousands flew and nested in the cold climate.  However, over millions of years of evolution its wings and feet became adapted more for swimming than flying, and eventually the Great Auk lost its ability to fly.  It became an easy target for animal and human predators.  Thornhill gives a readable account of the rocky, isolated habitats that protected the Great Auk for many years, of the pictographs found in the caves of early hunters, of the increasing pursuit as hunters became sea-farers and were able to reach the isolated island rookeries.  She tells of the early days when the Great Auk was revered and hunters found a use for all parts of the great bird.  She explains that the Great Auk’s extinction even had some benefit for subsequent species of birds that use the same rocky nesting grounds.  And, it was the extinction of this species that prompted the original laws for conservation, protection of wildlife, and the creation of nature preserves.

With beautiful full-page colour images created and painted on computer using Corel Painter, Thornhill shows readers the change over time and the events that led to the Greak Auk’s final demise.  The paintings are rich in their detail and evocative in their tone, especially the birds’ eyes, as they seem to capture the mood of waiting and watching, their grace and speed in the water, their ghostly spirit after extinction.

End papers include a glossary, map, a list of names given to the Great Auk by various cultures, a list of extinct species, a list of websites, reference books and articles.

With particular appeal for students interested in conservation, rare, endangered, and extinct species.



twitter
Wish on All the Stars
Schroeder, Lisa
ISBN: 9781338195774
Grades: Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Prolific author Lisa Schroeder has written a sequel to “See You on a Starry Night” that can be read as…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
Cursed
Silverstein, Karol Ruth
ISBN: 9781580899406
Grades: Grades 7 to 12

Debut author and screenwriter Karol Ruth Silverstein pens an empowering and emotionally-charged novel about a teen with juvenile arthritis, based…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
Something Like Gravity
Smith, Amber
ISBN: 9781534437180
Grades: Grades 9 to 12

New York Times best-selling author Amber Smith, who is an advocate for increased awareness of gender violence as well as…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
Teen Titans: Raven
Garcia, Kami
ISBN: 9781401286231
Grades: Grades 7 to 12

Young adult author Kami Garcia writes her debut graphic novel with artist Gabriel Picolo, producing the first amazing installment of…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
© Copyright 2021 all rights reserved.