One Dark Bird

By: Liz Garton Scanlon

Illustrator: Frann Preston-Gannon

One dark bird is perched up high, with a view of the town and a taste of the sky. Then she’s joined by two more, then three, then four. Before long, there are hundreds of starlings dancing across the sky—and avoiding a hunting hawk with one of the most spectacular tricks in the animal kingdom. Then, when night comes, the starlings begin to depart, until finally there is just one dark bird perched way up high, with a view of the town and a taste of the sky.

Note about starlings. Full-color illustrations were rendered using a mixture of digital and hand-drawn techniques.

ISBN: 9781534404434

JLG Release: Oct 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Stories in rhyme , Starlings , Counting

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Magazine*, Booklist*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

One little starling, sitting on a branch, is slowly joined by others until an enormous multitude joins together, filling the sky. Starlings swoop and dive in enthralling unison until danger approaches and they scatter in different directions seeking safety. Starlings are amazing little creatures that delight with their ability to put on a synchroni One little starling, sitting on a branch, is slowly joined by others until an enormous multitude joins together, filling the sky. Starlings swoop and dive in enthralling unison until danger approaches and they scatter in different directions seeking safety. Starlings are amazing little creatures that delight with their ability to put on a synchronized aerial performance worthy of an awe-inspired crowd. In this counting picture book for young children, readers will observe the comings and goings of ten little starlings and then hundreds more as they gather to form a murmuration, as is eloquently described on the title page of the book. Set in a sun-bathed city with unique hand drawn buildings and colorfully highlighted birds, the artwork in the story engages the reader as much as the rhyming text. Mixed media techniques add interest and deep jewel tones add beauty and warmth. A tool to teach both early science and math concepts, this picture book will be useful both in and out of the classroom.

Horn Book

A small paragraph on the title page defines a murmuration (“a single-seeming mass [of birds] that performs coordinated acrobatic dances in the sky”) before using a counting-book frame to illustrate one composed of starlings. “1 / dark bird / perched way up high / a view of town / a taste of sky. // 2 birds more / come winging by / then 3 / th A small paragraph on the title page defines a murmuration (“a single-seeming mass [of birds] that performs coordinated acrobatic dances in the sky”) before using a counting-book frame to illustrate one composed of starlings. “1 / dark bird / perched way up high / a view of town / a taste of sky. // 2 birds more / come winging by / then 3 / then 4 / flights multiply.” Hand-drawn and digital illustrations, mostly focused on the rooftops and the bird’s-eye views, convey a warm, colorful afternoon in a community full of people, pets, and bicycles. The counting stops at 10, as the spare, poetic text then compounds the number of starlings in the sky into the hundreds (“A hundred here / and there / and there / fine feathered friends / with sky to spare”), while the art shows them gathering in the sunset. When a hawk arrives on the scene and startles the birds, the murmuration begins, and each double-page spread becomes a breathtaking display of bird choreography. Finally, the birds disperse, allowing a slow counting backward from 10. Darkness overtakes the town, and birds and people begin to get ready for sleep. A pleasure to look at and think about, this story and its inspiring sky-set dance can elicit new appreciation for the natural world.

Book Details

ISBN

9781534404434

First Release

October 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10" x 8"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Beach Lane

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Stories in rhyme, Starlings, Counting,

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Cover Art

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