Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Red Knot: A Shorebird’s Incredible Journey

Red Knot: A Shorebird’s Incredible Journey

Nancy Carol Willis
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Birdsong Books, 2006   ISBN: 978-0966276152

Every year, over a period of nine months, Red Knots fly from their home in Tierra del Fuego all the way to the Canadian Tundra and back. By making this annual 20,000 mile journey the little shore birds are able to live in a spring-like climate all year long and they never have to face the problem of trying to find food in the middle of a cold winter.

The journey begins in February and we are going to travel with a female bird whose tell-tale red breeding feathers are just beginning to show when she leaves the shores of Tierra del Fuego. She flies up the coast of South America, across the Brazilian rain forests and out across the Caribbean. She has to eat as much as she can to keep up her energy as she flies through rain and wind to get the east coast of the United States where she feasts on the eggs of the horseshoe crabs. Here she can rest for a little while before she continues her journey north to lands where the sun never sets, where she will mate, and where she will lay he eggs.

Readers will be hard pressed not to feel a great deal of admiration for the little bird which makes such an epic journey every year. Red Knot’s adventures are interesting and they will help the reader see how important it is for us to preserve the habitats that Red Knots and other shorebirds depend on. Were it not for the beaches of the Delaware Bay and for the feast of crab eggs that can be found there in the early summer, Red Knots and other animals would have a hard time surviving.

Carefully and beautifully executed colored pencil drawings compliment the text helping the reader to see the Red Knot’s world and thus better appreciate what a special bird the Red Knot is.