But first, a note: The Minnesota Historical Society has some very interesting and fun stuff going on around Minnesota in the Civil War, and I wrote about it here.
It's winter, it's cold, it's time to read, don't you think? I have a few books to share with you over the next couple of weeks. Let's start with some all-ages eye-candy.
This book, published by the MN Historical Society Press, is absolutely adorable. A little boy and his grandpa go out to the icy lake for a little ice fishing. It doesn't seem to be their day. Will they ever catch a real fish? While they wait, they play games, have hot cocoa with other fishermen, and sneak in a few counting moments for young readers. The illustrations are colorful and whimsical:
Perfect for pre- and young readers, especially those curious about lakes and fish. Or who just like to spend time with Grandpa.
University of Minnesota Press's Hawk Ridge, written and illustrated by the same due behind the lovely Twelve Owls. Hawk Ridge is an actual place, an observatory in Duluth were experts and amateurs alike are welcome to view raptor migration in the fall. In fact, according to this book, on 9/15/03, over 100,000 Broad-winged Hawks were counted flying over Hawk Ridge, a record.
The book discusses different types of raptors that have been confirmed at some point or another in Hawk Ridge, and Betsy Bowen's gorgeous paintings are vivid and breathtaking:
That's her painting of an American Kestral, nabbing its prey mid-flight.
While young readers could certainly enjoy the beautiful illustrations, this book is really for older readers, those interested in birds and nature. Author Erickson writes a lively text, combining science with history, mythology, and curious fact. One memorable incident she details was the discovery of a dead falcon which appeared to be healthy, but when scientists opened it up, they found it had swallowed a live rat, which lived long enough to chew through the bird's esophagus. It's a dangerous world the raptors inhabit.
Hawk Ridge is perfect for anyone interested in birds and/or raptors--or just books about nature that happen to contain artwork to linger over.
My thanks to the publishers for providing me with review copies of these lovely books!