by Sy Montgomery (Author), Tiffany Bozic (Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (March 19, 2024) ISBN-10 :1665918497
“A naturalist with a gift of helping readers imagine what they may never have touched or even seen, Montgomery writes in ways that immediately bring the birds’ qualities into focus, such as ‘I am mostly made of air—like a bubble wrapped in feathers…the illustrations are vibrantly colorful and wonderfully detailed. A captivating bird book.”
—Carolyn Phelan, American Library Association Booklist, Starred Review.
“In this addition to a shelf full of successful invitations to wonder at the natural world, Montgomery presents a hummingbird’s life from the bird’s perspective. She bases her account on the lives of two real-life Allen’s hummingbirds, raised by an experienced rehabilitator. An orphaned nestling describes how a rescuer (“The Voice”) nurtured him and his sister until they were grown. He describes learning to feed himself nectar and catch fruit flies and moving from perching to actual flying—hovering and flying backward and even upside down! “No other bird can do that,” he brags. In the fall, the two birds journey south to Mexico, returning to California in December to raise another generation. Grown hummingbirds, he exults, “rule the sky.” The writer has chosen details that are accurate, appropriate, and appealing for the audience. …. an enticing, enlightening tale, featuring gloriously detailed illustrations.
A charming bird’s-eye view of one bird’s rescue and rehabilitation.”
Two baby Allen’s hummingbirds, alone in a coin-size nest, thrive with human assistance in an informational rescue story that hints at fledglings’ fortitude. Montgomery narrates earnestly from the perspective of a male bird emerging from eggs with his sister, “the size of bumblebees.” But when the breeze that suggests their mother’s arrival stops, “We are scared, cold, and hungry.” The next morning, a human hand cradles the babies, and human lips blow from the page margin, simulating wingbeats. “I’m not a mother hummingbird, but I’ve spent ten years learning how to help orphans like you,” they are told, before moving to a Hummingbird Hotel that affords them safety to test their wings, sip nectar, and eat fruit flies until they’re ready to re-enter the wild. As they migrate south and return to their birthplace, meticulous illustrations by Bozic, crisply detailed in acrylic paint on wood, accurately depict the duo across habitats and alongside other hummingbird species. Ages 4–8.
— Publishers Weekly. Starred review