Cover image for Song for the whooping crane
Song for the whooping crane
Spinelli, Eileen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm
A poetic celebration of the whooping crane, one of the rarest birds in North America.
Reading Level:
AD 800 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 0.5 44655.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 1 Quiz: 22945 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.P5457 S6 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This book is a poetic celebration of the whooping crane, one of the rarest birds in North America.

Author Notes

Eileen Spinelli was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1942. After high school, she worked as a waitress at a local diner, a secretary, and answered phones at an airplane factory. She eventually became the author of children's books. Her picture books include Thanksgiving at the Tappletons, Do You have a Hat, While You are Away, When Mama Comes Home Tonight, Wanda's Monster, Here Comes the Year, A Big Boy Now, and Hug a Bug. She is also the author of several short novels including Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses, Lizzie Logan Gets Married, and Lizzie Logan, Second Banana. She received the Christopher Award for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Spinelli's poetic ode to an endangered crane species is at once respectful and breathless with wonder. The song in this case refers to the "seasonal rhythms" of the once-abundant birds as they progress from southward migration in October, through the hatching season in spring, to the graceful courting dances. Spinelli's poetry is calm and sure, though the rhyme is occasionally forced, and Warnick's watercolor illustrations are reverent. But Warnick has opted to create a simplified, stylized version of the birds' world. She captures the elegant forms of the cranes, but misses some of the glorious complexity of the birds' lives and habitat. --Tim Arnold

Publisher's Weekly Review

A visual and linguistic delight, this celebration of the endangered whooping crane delivers a subtle environmental message. Beginning "in the far North/ when October spills/ across the ice/ and the wind sweeps high," Spinelli (Night Shift Daddy) traces the flight of the cranes to their southern habitat and back again, detailing the kinds of foods, sounds and activities in which the birds engage. Spinelli infuses the narrative's reverential tone with an infectious sense of wonder: "Come see!/ Step out from dappled doorways,/ leave your dreams." Warnick's (They Walk the Earth) deft watercolors balance close-up views of the ice-white cranes with silhouetted figures (such as the cranes' awkward mating dance, "They bow,/ they leap,/ they flap their wings") and striking landscapes. From an aerial view of a town in sleeting rain to the gray shadowed crane asleep in shallow pools, Warnick's serene images are breathtaking. By book's end, as the cranes go "in blossom-scented April once more to northern nesting grounds," the reader will join the author in hoping, "may it always be so." All ages. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-Spinelli's short rhymed ode to the endangered species describes the crane's winter migration south and its unusual dance. ("They bow,/they leap,/they flap their wings,/they prance/in pairs,/or one by one,/or as a flock entire-/bobbing-bobbing-/ graceful/heads up higher,/higher.") Warnick's soft watercolors, equally as important as the text, offer panoramic scenes, close-ups, and aerial views of the birds in framed strips and two-page spreads-most of them set against the soft blue-toned backgrounds of sky and water. Several of the paintings have the appearance of batik; many are exceptional in their simplicity. Alas, no factual material on the whooping crane is included. Pair this lovely poetic tribute with some information on the habits of this unusual avian species for an enjoyable nature lesson.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.