Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems
Author: Kristine O'Connell George: Illustrator: Barry Moser
Pages: 48
Publisher/Date: Harcourt/2004
ISBN: 0152023259
Age Levels: 4-8 and up

Book Review

One warm February morning a tiny hummingbird began building a nest in a ficus tree on the patio of George's home in Claremont, California. For the next two months, George kept a "hummingbird journal" of the daily happenings. "I still marvel," she writes, "over the surprising range of emotions one small bird and its family evoked: awe, worry about possible dangers, and laughter when the baby birds teetered on the edge of the nest for their daily flight practice."
George has expertly taken those emotions and woven them into this delightful collection of poems. In "Visitor" we are introduced to the small mother. She is nothing more than a "spark, a glint, / a glimpse of pixie tidbit." In the next poem, however, we see her bravado and determination in action. She becomes a "feathered missile streaking by," ordering the humans off her patio, out of her territory.
Soon two eggs are visible in the "cobweb ship" of a nest. Once hatched, the nestlings, "raisin black / and wrinkled," settle in.
In "Flight Practice," George does a superb job at allowing the reader to visualize the drama taking place: "Four curled up feet grip / the top of the nest. / Two tiny motors / rev up for the wing test."
Moser is in top form here. His realistic, incredibly detailed watercolor paintings are small jewels in themselves.
The poems and illustrations combine wonderfully to allow readers the opportunity to vicariously witness nature up-close.
Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis. ©2004 Education Oasis®

About the Author

Kristine O'Connell George's children's books have won many major poetry awards and garnered numerous starred reviews. She lives in the Santa Monica Mountains in California. Visit her website.

About the Illustrator

Barry Moser is the acclaimed illustrator of many books for children and adults, including Telling Time with Big Mama Cat and Sit, Truman! He lives in western Massachusetts.