A shout of joy went through the birding community on 5/16/13 when B95 aka Moonbird, the subject of Phillip Hoose’s book Moonbird was spotted again on Delaware Bay. Read about it the Philadelphia Inquirer Blog.
Jan Eckardt Butler, art teacher and life-long birder, shared this astounding art installation by 4th and 5th graders at Holland Hall School in Tulsa, OK.
Inspired by Moonbird, these beautifully painted rufa red knots seek pearls of horseshoe crab eggs under the paper sand. This is education at its best.
Professor Ernie Bond of Salisbury University declared this combo of authors Olivia Bouler and Phillip Hoose, the “best band to ever play for the birds!” at the Green Earth Book Awards.
Olivia wept when she heard about the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, a place where she spent many vacations with her cousins and grandparents who live in Louisiana and Alabama. Knowing birds were going to suffer during migration and nesting season, she decided to take action. Olivia gave bird drawings to those who donated to wildlife recovery efforts, thus raising $200,000 to date.
Her story has appeared on the Today Show, CBS Evening News, Mobile Press Register, The Guardian (UK), BBC, AOL News, Newsday, USA Today, and Larry King Live. Her children’s book, Olivia’s Birds, was released for the one year anniversary of the oil spill.
Olivia has been named 2010 ASPCA Kid of the Year, Audubon Artist Inspiring Conservation, Disney Friend For Change, Dale Earnhardt Legend of Leadership, and A White House Champion of Change.
Marvelous blogger Barb Middleton of Reading Rumpus Book Reviews‘s husband read Moonbird by proxy.
“This expository text is so engaging that I kept spitting out facts to my husband as I was being wowed by this tiny creature that performs feats that don’t seem possible. Did you know that this bird eats 14 times it’s weight and manages to fly? Did you know in 2009 scientists invented geolocators so lightweight and small that they can track bird migration? Did you know that horseshoe crab blood is used to make sure medical equipment is sterilized? Did you know… the poor guy won’t have to read the book after me being a chatterbox of nonstop facts through 120 pages…”
Thanks to Barb for reading and posting such an awesome review and thanks to her husband for getting the B95 report via the “chatterbox.”
Thanks Alex and Zack!
Author talks to elementary students about shorebirds, preserving nature
By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. — Frankton fifth-grader Hannah Smith had no idea what a red knot was until author Phil Hoose stopped by.
Hoose was at Frankton Elementary School on Thursday morning to talk to the students about shorebirds, along with a few of the animals they encounter and the importance of preserving nature.
The hero of his latest book, “Moonbird,” is a red knot shorebird named B95.
Hoose said he wants the kids to “feel some empathy and respect for them, preserve their habitat for them and to love birds” that actually have “rugged lives.”
“Caring is at the core of all of it,” he said, adding developing a philanthropic nature while young can really make a difference.
Fifth-grader Aden Steigerwalt said he thinks it’s important to be knowledgeable about nature and take care of it.
“Animals do their part, we should do ours,” he said.
Frankton Elementary has worked to raise money for the Nature Conservancy, an organization that works globally to protect ecologically important lands and waters, for 18 years now, raising more than $20,000 for the Adopt-an-Acre program.
Ken Kakasuleff, a fourth-grade teacher who helped get the program started, said students raise money through jar wars, in which each grade collects coins in 5-gallon jugs to build up points. Students can put bills in another grade’s jug to subtract points and the grade that receives the most gets rewarded with a party.
“It generates a lot of enthusiasm and they know it’s for a good cause, what it’s for,” Kakasuleff said.
The school completes jar wars the week of Earth Day or Arbor Day and students study nature as they do it.
Hoose has worked with the Nature Conservancy for 36 years now and was in the area to make some presentations for the organization. He said Frankton is well-known for its conservation efforts and that he was happy to stop by to spread awareness and teach the kids about animals they may not have known exist.
B95 is “bionic.”
Hoose said 55 percent of red knots die in the first year of their lives and the rest live to be about 7 years old. B95 is 20 years old, the oldest of his species ever.
“He’s become world, world famous, this bird is,” Hoose said. “This guy is something special.”
B95 has flown more than 350,000 miles, he said, which equivalents the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back. Red knots fly from the bottom of the world to the top each year, through hazardous weather like hurricanes.
“I think it’s cool for a bird to fly like that,” Steigerwalt said, comparing B95 to a rocket.
Before he left, Hoose donated four of his books to the school’s library, signing each copy for the students.
As for B95, he was last seen May 28, Hoose said, and it’s unknown if he’s still alive. But if he is, he’s probably in Chile right now where a big flock has been reported.
Phillip Hoose has been once again honored with a Green Earth Book Award. The award is the nation’s first environmental stewardship book award for children and young adult books. Over 80 winning and honor books have been honored since 2005 including Hoose’s Hey, Little Ant and The Race to Save the Lord God Bird.
“One of the beauties of the Earth Book Award is that it recognizes an author who’s writing about a topic that is of vital importance to our Earth, yet it’s an area that, until recently, received little attention.” –Pam Spencer Holley, author of the American Library Association’s Quick and Popular Reads for Teens
Congratulations to all the winning and honor books!
We thank the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association for this review sprinkled with all of our favorite key words and phrases related to Moonbird:
act to make a change,
and interconnection of species.
“As he does with every topic he tackles–the ivory-billed woodpecker, civil rights, basketball–Hoose provides interesting details about his topic, and then, provides ways that they can act to make a change. Additionally, the thumbnail sketches of scientists and youngsters who are involved in making sure there is a place for B95 and others of his species answer any questions readers might have as they are reading. Above all, this is a survival story nestled within a story of conservation, one that reminds readers of the interconnection of species…Given the odds against him, how can we not care about the fate of B95 and others like him? Nonfiction doesn’t get better than this.” –International Reading Association
Moonbird has his own comic! Thank you to 3DTOPO Inc. for taking flight with this fabulous tribute to B95 and the book on the The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Reads. Our thanks to Diane Colson as well for her lovely review!
Photo credits clockwise from top left: American Bird Conservatory; New York Times Green Blog; Scielo.org.; Moonbird cover; Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org);.