Review of Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird's Amazing Journey

Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird’s Amazing Journey
by Robert Burleigh; illus. by Wendell Minor
Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp.
4/20    978-1-62779-369-8    $18.99

In the late days of summer in the northeastern United States, a ruby-throated hummingbird (here called Tiny Bird) “feels a pull and knows it must go” on its migration journey to southern Mexico. Flying solo over farmland, cities, and the Gulf of Mexico, Tiny Bird encounters peril in the form of predators and storms but safely escapes each incident to reach its winter home. (The text does note, however, that “many hummingbirds never do.”) Scientific facts about hummingbird feeding and flight are emphasized in the informative text and the light- and motion-filled illustrations, which skillfully convey the bird’s movements. Action words (“Zip!” “Zap!” “Swoop!”) throughout accompany the pictures that freeze-frame Tiny Bird midflight, snatching up mosquitoes and dodging the snapping jaws of fish. Changes in scale show the bird’s small stature in perspective, up close next to relatively gigantic flowers, or almost invisible when flying near pelicans and boats. Endnotes provide informative details about hummingbirds and encourage readers to make their yards hummingbird friendly.

From the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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