Thursday, December 20, 2018

Book Review: All Eyes on Alexandra

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration, iAll Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it's time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel's Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited, but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?
What a beautiful story and stunningly illustrated in full page, full colour images by Chiara Pasqualotto. The story takes young readers on an adventure with Alexandra, who may be a bit of a dreamer and a wanderer, but “She’s not afraid to try new routes. She’s got a sharp eye for danger. And she never gives up until she finds the best way.” I like the way author Anna Levine gives the birds their own personalities and familial roles. Alexandra is different and just a bit unique and grandfather Saba recognises this. Alexandra might get distracted with all the interesting things to see in nature, but that doesn’t stop her innate instinct for leadership and navigation.

I think young readers and adults reading to them will be fascinated to learn more about Israel’s bird migration, and the more than five hundred million birds of different species that fly over Israel to and from Africa, Asia and Europe twice a year. The vivid and detailed images take young readers and adults through a variety of magnificent landscapes, which may stimulate readers to do some research on their own and learn more about annual bird migration and the countries they traverse. This is a wonderful story for young readers to explore and I’d recommend it be stocked in home and school libraries. There are plenty of points for story discussion as well, giving youngsters much food for thought.

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