"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bird, Butterfly, Eel by James Prosek

The beautiful watercolor paintings in Bird, Butterfly, Eel, by James Prosek, immediately grab your attention. Lush spreads show the environment and habits of each individual. You are in butterfly's colorful meadow, eel's green-filled pond and bird's barn rafters, trailed by a little black cat. Once hooked, you will learn  parallel migration stories of the title creatures, who live on the same farm. When autumn comes, each knows just where to go, even if their journeys are hundreds or thousands of miles. More detailed facts about Monarch Butterflies, Barn Swallows and American Eels follow the story.

Author and illustrator James Prosek sounds like a fascinating man. Apparently, by the time he was twenty, he had traveled through forty nine states painting all the North American trout species and subspecies (Trout: An Illustrated History) and also "...won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler" (Bird, Butterfly, Eel jacket copy). It's not that I am interested in fish specifically, but I admire anyone who follows their passion like this, and has the talent to get others to love their obsession too. Prosek's website is http://www.troutsite.com/.

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