The Resource The tragic tale of the great auk
- The tragic tale of the great auk
- Statement of responsibility
- Jan Thornhill
- For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive. In this stunningly illustrated non-fiction picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Jan Thornhill tells the tragic story of these birds that "weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a preteen's waist." Their demise came about in part because of their anatomy. They could swim swiftly underwater, but their small wings meant they couldn't fly and their feet were so far back on their bodies, they couldn't walk very well. Still the birds managed to escape their predators much of the time...until humans became seafarers. Great Auks were pursued first by Vikings, then by Inuit, Beothuk and finally European hunters. Their numbers rapidly dwindled. They became collectors' items--their skins were stuffed for museums, to be displayed along with their beautiful eggs. (There are some amazing stories about these stuffed auks--one was stolen from a German museum during WWII by Russian soldiers; another was flown to Iceland and given a red-carpet welcome at the airport.)
- ALA Notable Children's Book, 2017
- Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2016
- School Library Journal Best Books, 2016
- TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, 2017.
- Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Information Book Award, 2017.
- Additional physical form
- Issued also in electronic format.
- Cataloging source
- Dewey number
- no index present
- Literary form
- non fiction
- Target audience
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