Facts and Folklore from the Americas
By Jeanette Larson and Adrienne Yorinks
Illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks
ISBN # 978-1-58089-332-9
“Hummingbirds defy the limitations of their tiny size and other physical constraints that most species could not conquer. When early European explorers first saw a hummingbird, they thought it was a cross between an insect and a bird because of its small size.”
I’ve watched the hummingbirds sip nectar and then return to fight on our front deck, and they are fascinating birds. Tiny and fierce, they dive and drive away competitors in their territory. I’ve watched their diving behavior and thought they were fighting the entire time. Some of it is courting behavior!
Larson’s and Yorink’s Hummingbirds revealed a new view of these beautiful, iridescent birds that can fly in any direction. The book gives facts in a narrative text with retold folklore interspersed about the hummingbirds that matches the category discussed in the chapter. This is a creative way to present the information while digging into the folklore about these birds.
The art is done in fabric collage with a quilted feel. The stitching follows specific hummingbird species in quality representations that matches the information in the narrative. The extensive back matter includes a glossary, additional reading, bibliography, tale sources, bird resources, hummingbird sanctuaries, web sites, art notes, and a glossary.
The book covers a wide range of topics: Life science, history, legends, myths from the Americas, and animal habitats. It’s a beautiful book and worth reading straight through or in small chunks. What a wonderful way to introduce readers to birds and folktales!
Read an interview with Jeanette and Adrienne at Donna Bowman Bratton’s Writing Down the Kid-Lit Page.
Download a coloring page from a hummingbird folktale.
Look up information about hummingbird statistics, such as size, weight, wing beats per minute. Create a chart to display the information in an easy to understand way. Illustrate it with one of your favorite hummingbirds.
This site has good hummingbird information.
Research information about two other small birds. Design a chart to compare the different statistics of hummingbirds with the other two birds you choose.
This website has pictures of small birds. Be sure to click on the photo for a beautiful close-up of the birds.
A Bird’s World has lots of information about birds.
National Geographic has some bird information.
This site has links to more bird information.
National Science Standard: organisms and their environment
Book provided by publisher for Librarian’s Choices Best 100 Books.