KIRKUS reviews Belle’s Journey

Kate/ April 6, 2018/ blog, news, reviews

BELLE’S JOURNEY: AN OSPREY TAKES FLIGHT ~ ISBN: 9781580897921, 112pp. Pub Date: May 15, 2018

“A young osprey named Belle completes her first 4,000-mile solo migration from Massachusetts to South America and back. One spring, Dr. B., a scientist on Martha’s Vineyard who studies ospreys, selects Belle, a large, young female, to be equipped with a satellite transmitter dispatching messages tracking her movements every three days. By September, Belle has become an expert fish catcher and a strong flier, and she is poised for her migration south. Launching from Martha’s Vineyard, Belle flies nonstop for two days over the open Atlantic before resting on a cargo ship. Resuming her journey, Belle traverses a Bahamian island, Cuba, and the Caribbean Sea. A hurricane blows her into Colombia, and she eventually arrives in Brazil. A year and a half later, Belle returns to Martha’s Vineyard, taking an inland route to begin the next phase of her life.

In this ‘mostly true story,’ Bierregaard (the real Dr. B.) uses the real-life Belle, whose migration he tracked, to convey this lively, personalized look at migrating ospreys. Rendered in watercolor pencil, ink, and aqua crayon, the realistic, atmospheric illustrations rely on line and color to capture the drama of Belle’s amazing adventure. An engaging, informative introduction to ospreys for budding birders.” (map, further information, resources) (Nonfiction. 10-13) —Kirkus Reviews, March 2018

Rob Bierregaard has studied ospreys in New England since 1971. In 1998 he restarted an intensive census of the population on Martha’s Vineyard. Beginning in 2000, he started tagging ospreys with satellite transmitters that enable us to follow their migration to South America and back. Belle’s Journey is Rob’s first children’s book.

Kate Garchinsky is the illustrator of Belle’s Journey and The Secret Life of Red Fox. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed toys, birdbaths, and trail maps. She lives with her husband, Brian, in Pennsylvania. http://kategarchinsky.com

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About Kate

Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May. Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018). Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at http://KateGarchinsky.com (aka PenguinArt.com).