CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 10. . . .November 8, 2013
Poor Sammy the Wilson’s warbler is all alone and lost on his first migration to Panama! In the spirit of stories with a refrain, such as Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, Is This Panama?, by Jan Thornhill, is the story of Sammy’s adventures and his encounters with other animals while headed south. Sammy’s story presents the science of migration within a storytelling framework, and it will appeal to young environmentalists, scientists, and animal lovers alike. Thornhill – the winner of the NAPPA Gold Award for I Found a Dead Bird – has a gentle and wide-eyed style of storytelling that is appropriate for the point of view of the young warbler and offers a lovely introduction to the concept of migration. Thornhill’s use of scientific terminology is informative, and her story inspires awe in the reader for the process of migration, itself. Kim’s elegant and vivid collage illustrations are subtle enough to depict the body language and facial expressions of Sammy, as well as the landscape changes according to the varying latitudes he flies through. Included in the book are drawings to identify different species of warblers, a map of Sammy’s migration, a write-up about how animals migrate, and a short informative guide to the other animals in the story. Although this book may not appeal to all children because of its lengthy story, leisurely pace, or scientific subject matter, it is appropriate for library shelves or classrooms for storytelling, one-on-one, or solo reading.
Thornhill’s book is a well-told, beautifully illustrated, and informative one meant to spark children’s curiosity and to broaden their engagement with the world around them.
Julianne Mutimer is a children’s librarian with Surrey Libraries in Surrey, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.