|When grandfather flew|
Author: MacLachlan, Patricia
As Emma grieves the loss of her grandfather, she reflects on their shared love of birdwatching.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 513956
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/21)
School Library Journal (01/07/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/21)
The Hornbook (00/09/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 In this reflection on life and love, MacLachlan presents a story about a grandfather’s journey from health to being cared for by loved ones until he passes away. His young granddaughter, Emma, narrates, reminiscing about her grandfather’s love of birds and how he passed that love on to her and her little brother, Milo. She remembers how he taught them to recognize birds through binoculars and later, when he had lost his sight, by their songs. Emma also recounts how when Nurse Leah came to stay with them, she helped move Grandfather’s bed to the window near the bird feeder and came to love the birds their grandfather described. Sheban’s soft-edged, textured illustrations—created with watercolor, pastel, and graphite—use an earth-toned palette with splashes of blue that add a calm pleasantness to the story. The resulting tale is a gentle one of love and sadness, but it also contains hope that another, possibly better, life exists after death. This sentiment is beautifully echoed in Milo’s belief that their grandfather has become the magnificent bald eagle seen soaring above the family, viewing the world from the sky. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/07/2022 Gr 2–6—Lovingly called Birdman by his family for his appreciation of birds, Grandfather enjoys teaching everyone about the winged creatures that visit his property. "I love their songs and the way they fly. The brisk wing beat of the sharp-shinned hawk, the hovering kestrel, and my favorite bird of all, the high-soaring bald eagle." Throughout the story the family, who is white, is truly schooled in everything regarding birds. As grandfather ages and his eyesight worsens, he relies on his family to describe the birds to him or to simply listen to the song of the bird to identify it. As his days grow short, he still enjoys his birds. An elegant telling, combined with beautifully rendered illustrations create a naturalistic and positive glimpse of life and death. VERDICT An excellent book to teach appreciation of our elders, as well as a study in grief and hope.—Tracy Cronce - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.