Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Henry the Impatient Heron by Donna Love

Henry the Impatient Heron by Donna Love
Illustrated By: Christina Wald
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Sylvan Dell
Publication Date: February 2009
ISBN: 978-1-934359-90-70

Henry the Great Blue Heron was always a fidgety bird. He loved to move, and could hardly stand to stay still in one place for more than a moment. From the time he was a baby his siblings and parents told him he needed to learn control, to focus on being calm. It was unbecoming of a Great Blue Heron to not be able to stay still. Having always been able to rely on others and their skills to feed and take care of him, how on earth would he ever catch a meal on his own if he didn't learn the patience necessary?

Well, the day comes when Henry finds himself lost and alone, having wandered away from his family while in pursuit of an eye catching dragonfly. As the day passes by, Henry tries on more than one occassion to find himself a tasty treat to satisfy the ache in his tummy. However unfortunate, Henry can't seem to catch even a frog. His inability to patiently stand still and wait for the right time to act creates too much commotion. Every creature that Henry sets his sights on senses his presence well before he makes his move to strike. Every time he thinks he's going to win, he's defeated again by his own clumsy, noisy, self. Whatever will Henry do?

Befuddled and certainly frustrated Henry is awestruck when he discovers himself in the waters alongside THE GREAT BLUE HERON the heron of all herons. Seeing Henry's dismay, The Great Blue Heron takes the opportunity to instill in Henry the understanding of how important the fine art of patience is. Giving him food for thought along with some helpful suggestions on how to curb his own impatience and hone his fishing skills, The Great Blue Heron takes his leave. The sun is about to set, but the hunger in Henry's stomach has only grown more with each passing hour. Can he put The Great Blue Heron's teaching to work? Can Henry once and for all be a patient bird capable of taking care of himself?

Young readers are going to enjoy this story because, like Henry, they are likely to understand firsthand the difficulty of staying still. In a world that's go go go, and full of instant gratification opportunities, learning to be patient can be one major struggle. It's such an important lesson to learn though, and Love's story does a great job of portraying both the negatives and positives of of patience. Those lacking the finer patience skills will benefit from seeing how with a little effort we can all learn to be patient and therein tackle even our greatest challenges.

The Creative Minds section in this book also deals up some great lessons on The Great Blue Herons themselves. With fun facts, a Heron life cycle matching game, and even info the Heron's habit children will be educated while being entertained. And with some thought provoking questions regarding pollution in the wetlands, parents will have the opportunity to discuss some of life's more meaningful issues.

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

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