Title: Puffling Patrol
Author & Illustrator: Ted & Betsy Lewin
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, 2012
Book Type: Non-Fiction
Themes: Puffins, Animal Conservation, Iceland
Synopsis (from Lee & Low website):
Every April, the Westman Islands off the coast of Iceland become home to hundreds of thousands of puffins, small black-and-white seabirds with colorful bills. They spend the summer on the rocky cliffs of the islands, caring for their newly hatched chicks. By the middle of August, it is time for the young puffins, called pufflings, to make their way to the sea. And that is when the children of The Puffling Patrol are called to action.
Ted and Betsy Lewin have journeyed to the Westman Islands to experience The Puffling Patrol’s endeavors firsthand. In the company of Erna, Dáni, and their father, they drive through town at night, carefully searching for confused little birds that have glided down onto the streets instead of out to sea. Will the children find the pufflings before the birds encounter danger? Will the pufflings ever make it to the sea to spend their lives with other puffins in the North Atlantic Ocean?
Activities & Resources:
- News story in National Geographic about children’s effort to save pufflings on Heimaey
- Puffin related activities to do in the classroom.
- Coloring sheets at Kidzone and Puffinpalooza.
- National Geographic for Kids has a page for puffins.
Why I Like This Book:
A simple, easy-to-read book with beautiful artistry, a great way to learn to learn about animals. The authors recount their puffling rescue experience on a visit to Heimaey, an island off of Iceland. This is a wonderful book to show kids that they too can make a difference in the world. The yearly puffling rescue is something that the whole community young and old partake in. I especially liked that it was Dani, an eight-year old, that had “Eagle Eyes” in spotting the lost birds.
The illustrations are the gem of this book. The two styles of Ted and Betsy Lewin, blend together seamlessly. Betsy’s spot illustrations are cute and playful, reminiscent of her work in the Click Clack Moo series.
Ted’s larger photographic styled illustrations of the pufflings bring out the exquisiteness of these birds.
The story is told in first-person narrative, giving readers a feeling that they are right there experiencing the rescue first-hand. Unfortunately, the scene-by-scene narration also slowed down the pacing. The text at times seemed wordy.
The end pages are packed with information, puffin facts, information about the volcano on Heimaey, and a glossary.
The book can be used in classrooms to supplement discussions on animal conservation, birds, and Iceland.