*On the Wing by David Elliot

*On the Wing by David Elliot, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. Candlewick, 2014. 30 pages.

Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8on-the-wing
Maturity level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up

One-line Summary: On the Wing beautifully celebrates the varieties of bird life in this picture book for all ages.

Birds and picture books seem to be made for each other—their graceful soaring inspires both poetry and painting. The best of both are combined in On the Wing. Fifteen varieties of bird life—majestic, comical, plain, striking, huge, tiny, familiar and strange—are complimented with a variety of verses and vivid acrylic portraits. Some of the verses rhyme, some exclaim, some murmur and some sum up their subject in an admirably pithy way, such as “The Macaw”: Who/ spilled/ the/ paint? Some unspool in long moody lines, befitting The Albatross”: …over the schooners/ and three-masted whalers,/ guiding the untethered/ souls of lost sailors/ home through the winds/ of the measureless sky.

It’s a treat for bird lovers—of all ages.

Cautions: none

Overall rating: 5 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: n/a
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Picture Books, Poetry, Birds, Gift Books, Read-Alouds

Cover image from Amazon

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Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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