CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 41. . . .June 25, 2010.
Eagle of the Sea.
Kristin Bieber Domm. Illustrated by Jeffrey C. Domm.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2010.
32 pp., stapled, $9.95.
Grades 1-5 / Ages 6-10.
Review by Claire Perrin.
Sometimes eagles like me
are called “lions of the sky”
because we are skilful hunters.
We hunt by day for fish,
water birds, and small mammals.
Our powerful eyes can spot
prey from high up in the air.
I will likely see you long before you see me.
The story of the thriving bald eagle community in Atlantic Canada is a true success story of wildlife preservation efforts. Bald eagles are found only in North America, but Nova Scotia in particular has become home to large numbers of them in the Cole Harbour Marsh area.
In Eagle of the Sea, Kristin Bieber Domm describes these powerful birds in detail while keeping the text simple enough for young animal lovers to understand. Written in the first person, the book describes the life and daily activities of bald eagles. Hunting, flying, mating and reproducing are all explained in just enough detail to be informative without being difficult or wordy. Additional facts are provided within the text in a very natural way. For example, as the eagle is describing how it flies, we are told that eagles have seven thousand feathers which fit tightly together to make it aerodynamic.
Eagle of the Sea contains an interesting mix of scientific terms and descriptive language. Important words like talons, eaglets and flight feathers are explained by the eagle narrator as needed. The author also uses many adjectives and analogies that children can understand, and, for example, she compares the mating rituals to “flying cartwheels in the sky” and diving “like rollercoasters.”
Jeffrey Domm’s illustrations are equally engaging. More visual information is provided through the realistic illustrations, such as how the eagles lock their talons when mating and how large the nests are. Domm uses a variety of illustrations: close ups of the eagle’s head, aerial views of the eagle habitat and action pictures of the eagle swooping down to catch a fish.
Kristin and Jeffrey Domm have teamed up on several other wildlife books, including The Hatchling’s Journey (2003) and Atlantic Puffin (2005). Eagle of the Sea does an excellent job of enriching the reader’s understanding of these majestic birds through both the text and the illustrations.
Claire Perrin is a teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board.
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