WHOO’s Maria Gianferrari?
Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story blog tour! Whoo-Ku Haiku is written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Jonathan Voss and celebrated its book birthday last week on March 2, 2020. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Penguin Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Whoo-Ku Haiku is a captivating narrative nonfiction picture book that vividly describes the life cycle of the great horned owl. The story begins with the owl pair claiming an abandoned squirrel’s nest as their own. Not long after, Mama lays three eggs and keeps them warm while Papa hunts for food. Readers get a true glimpse of the dangers that the owl family faces. One of the eggs falls from the nest as a result of a crow attack. Once the owlets are born, Mama and Papa must be vigilant protecting their young from predators both in the sky and on the ground. As the fledglings get older, they try out their wings, learn to defend themselves, and finally, fly off to find homes of their own.
Gianferari’s decision to write haiku is bold and brilliant. Using the 5-7-5 structure, she chose her words carefully using rich and strong vocabulary to convey the owl family’s story. Here’s one of my favorites.
Sprouted ear tufts twitch
Pinecones whispering autumn
Soon fledgling owls fly.
Voss’ watercolor illustrations complement the lyrical text. His gorgeous art fills the double page spreads and intensely shows not only the astuteness but also the great agility of these amazing birds. Backmatter follows the story to provide more in-depth facts about the great horned owls, additional books, websites, and even links to videos. Whoo-Ku Haiku is a great addition to a classroom or school library. It is both a riveting read aloud and a marvelous mentor text for writing poetry. Highly recommend!
Praise for Whoo-Ku Haiku
“Vivid and accessible: an illuminating portrait of one of nature’s most iconic birds.”
WHOO’s Maria Gianferrari?
She’s a self-proclaimed bird nerd with a special fondness for raptors. Her love affair with birds began in 7th grade science class when her teacher, Mr. Lefebvre, initiated a bird count. While walking in her neighborhood, Maria’s always on the look-out for all kinds of birds, and she loves searching winter tree tops for nests in her northern Virginia neighborhood where she lives with her German-scientist husband and German speaking daughter. This is her first book with GP Putnam’s Sons. She’s also the author of another bird book, Hawk Rising. To learn more about Maria, please visit her website: mariagianferrari.com.
WHOO’s Jonathan Voss?
He writes and illustrates stories for children. Growing up, he was never far from a pencil or paint brush, and began working as a portrait artist right out of high school. Jonathan is the author of the Hoot & Love stories Brave Enough for Two and Imagine That. He is also the illustrator of Sally Walker’s Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh. Jonathan lives in North Carolina with his wife and two kids. Visit his website at jonathanvoss.com
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Whoo-Ku Haiku, courtesy of Penguin Random House (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.