written and illustrated by Tim Jessell
2012 (Random House)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Shelf-Employed
A young boy rests on the grass and dreams of being a falcon. Suddenly, he is riding the north wind and keeping other birds at a distance as they respect his ferocity. This falcon follows the coastline and soars above the cliffs. Finding shelter for the night among the cliffs, he takes off at dawn for he is heading for man-made cliffs. Waiting for the perfect moment, the falcon tucks his wings and dives straight for the crowd of city dwellers below. They duck for cover and the falcon is pleased as he heads upward and back to his perch. This pleases him so much, he thinks he might do it again.
Falcon is a piece of fiction (yes, I know it's Nonfiction Monday), but this book would be a great piece to introduce children to the very real bird. Click on this link to find more information about the peregrine falcon from National Geographic. Tim Jessell gives us the (wait for it...) birds-eye view of what it would be like to soar and strike fear in other birds and humans. Being an experienced falconer as well as a terrific illustrator, Jessell gives the reader an experience akin to being in an IMAX theater and watching a nature documentary. Falcon could be a text to read before you ask students to write a story from the point of view of an animal. You could have students writing about being a lioness on the hunt or a penguin traveling across Antarctica. Enjoy the artwork and take your students to the sky with Falcon.