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Book Title: Puffling Patrol|
The author of the book: Ted Lewin
Edition: Lee & Low Books
Date of issue: March 2012
ISBN 13: 9781600604249
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 461 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2548 times
Reader ratings: 3.9
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Did you know those cute fluffy babies were called pufflings? Ted and Betsy Lewin made a trip out to Iceland's Westman Islands to find out more about these baby birds and their survival. They visit the islands, by zodiac over rough seas, and get so see firsthand the cliffs, where, in the spring, the puffins dig their burrows to hatch and raise their offspring. By August, the pufflings are ready, or most are, to fend for themselves. While many pufflings head straight out to sea, some, confused by the town's lights, and maybe with wings not quite strong enough yet, head inland, and the local phenomenen of 'it's raining pufflings' occurs.
After a visit to the Natural History Museum, which acts as the puffling center, and they see their first puffling rescue, brought in the previous night. The Lewins link up with 8 year-old twins, Danni and Enna, who, along with many other local children, are key players in the summer "Puffling Patrol." This is a community of solidarity - 'their real love is for puffins, that small chunky black and white seabird."
The kids (and parents) set out after 10:00PM wrapped up well for a summer icelandic evening, and the pouring rain! Danni has eagle eyes. The previous year he had rescued 27 in one evening. I was surprised to see that the children are allowed to handle and cuddle these pufflings, as generally human contact is minimized when working with animals one is returning to the wild. I am assuming it is less important with birds than with mammals. My favorite scene is the next morning, when, the pufflings found the night before, having been checked for size and health and registered, are released on the beach. "EINN, TVEIR and PRIR" the children hold the pufflings aloft to get them flapping their wings, then release them.
Why I like this Book: While some of the illustrations are reminiscent of Betsy's most famous work, Clack Clack Moo, most are exquisite landscapes, seascapes and close-ups of these beautiful birds. The subtle artwork, on every page, draws you into this northerly nation with its dependence on the sea, and especially invites you into this small community. One of the appeals for me was how involved the entire community is in caring for these birds, including the children, who are so often excluded from conservation projects. I would have loved to have been a member of the puffling patrol as a kid. I suspect that most children could not locate Iceland on a map, and any good book that helps broaden children's cross cultural awareness, is valuable.
There are excellent factual details about emigration, habitat, threats etc woven naturally into the body of the story. Additionaly there are three pages at the back on more puffin facts; one page on the 1973 earthquake, a page Vestmannaeylers' puffins today and a glossary & pronunciation guide. This would be a great classroom resource as well as a good choice for kids who like more factual narrative and enjoy extra information. It would fit well into any teaching unit at school or home on: puffins, bird migration, animal conservation or island life.
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