March 23, 2012
Wisdom: The Midway Albatross by Darcy Pattison, illustrated by Kitty Harvill
Wisdom was the oldest living wild bird. How do we know? Because a scientist placed a band on her leg in 1956. In 2002, a new group of scientists caught Wisdom and read her tag. They knew that she was at least 51 years old.
Wisdom had survived sharks and fishing lines, thunderstorms and hurricanes, and the plastics that kill some birds when eaten. But there was more.
Wisdom was on Midway atoll in 2011 when an earthquake struck off the shore of Japan. A tsunami raced towards Midway. Scientists took shelter on high ground but they didn’t know if Wisdom and the nest with her chick in it were on high enough ground to survive.
The wave swept across the atoll.
Scientists found the nest and the chick but for 8 days they didn’t know what had happened to Wisdom. Finally, she was seen feeding her chick.
When so much in this world is scary and dangerous, this is an uplifting tale of survival. Children will identify with this bird — smaller than the many things that threaten her, vulnerable yet tenacious.
I read this as a Kindle e-book using Kindle for the PC. I would recommend buying this book in paperback format vs an e-book. As an e-book, the images in two page spreads are separated by about an inch of white space diluting the power of vast waves and wide-spread ocean.
This is an excellent picture book for nature lovers, both young and old.