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Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey Review by Lori Hooten

Nancy Carol Willis
Birdsong Books
1322 Bayview Road
Middletown, DE 19709

10,000 miles is an exceptionally long distance to travel once. But a red knot? They travel that distance twice a year during migration. The incredible journey of these birds is the focus of the beautiful picture book by Nancy Carol Willis titled Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey. 

A red knot is a shorebird that migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic tundra every spring and then back again in the fall. The red knot relies upon the pathway they travel and the abundance of food along that pathway. Nancy Carol Willis has created a stunning picture book with pictures that capture the red knot beautifully. 

Beginning in February, the reader joins the red knot on the migration journey. From shedding old feathers and growing new ones to marking the miles traveled each leg of the journey, the stunning drawings bring the journey to life. Written as journal entries, each date brings up something new and important in the red knot's life. One surprise comes when something much larger than the bird grasps her. The readers get to follow her surprise at being caught by a human and banded and then join in her relief when she is released. This sort of addition to the story helps the reader understand all that the birds experience. 

After the red knot makes it all the way both directions on her journey and is relaxing at home, the reader gets to learn more information about why the red knot was banded and learn about the journey of a real red knot. There are three non-fiction pages at the end of the book. There is a glossary with helpful definitions, information on banding, the name of the bird and its relatives, a timeline about their year, and some other information that helps the readers understand this endangered bird. 

Beautiful pictures accompanied by concise, clear text create a stunning story to follow with the small shorebird that makes an amazing journey twice a year. Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey by Nancy Carol Willis bring to life this small, amazing bird. 

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2019