Bartholomew Quill: A Crow’s Quest to Know Who’s Who
Author: Thor Hanson
Illustrator: Dana Arnim
Expected publication April 5th, 2016 by Little Bigfoot
Goodreads Summary: Bartholomew Quill is clever and curious, but he doesn’t know who or what he is. He has feathers not fur, so he can’t be a moose; he is black like a puffin but his beak is the wrong color. This determined bird won’t stop asking questions until he discovers what the reader knows–Bartholomew Quill is a crow!
Acclaimed biologist Thor Hanson takes us on a journey through the animal kingdom, and Dana Arnim’s exuberant watercolor and ink illustrations add to the magic.
About the Author: Thor Hanson is a biologist and author renowned for his adult books about nature (The Impenetrable Forest, The Triumph of Seeds, and Feathers). He won a PNBA Award and The John Burroughs Medal for Feathers, which was also a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and sought-after public speaker.
About the Illustrator: Dana Arnim, a northwest native, earned her art degree from the University of Washington. She lives with her husband and family in Seattle and helps lead the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Western Washington chapter.
Kellee’s Review: Bartholomew Quill’s journey is a bit different than other books because the reader already knows the answer to the question the protagonist seeks. I can see reading this with students and students shouting answers and information to Bartholomew as he goes about his journey. What I think is quite wonderful about this book is that although the book is anthropomorphic, the animal information is still factual since it was written by a biologist. Arnim did a beautiful job with the illustrations as well, bringing the animals to life.
Ricki’s Review: This book touched me in the way that it reminded me of the Native American creation myths my grandfather used to tell when I was a young child. He’d pull me onto his lap and tell me how the river became a river or why the wind whistles. I am sure that these myths made me the reader I am today. Bartholomew Quill is a beautiful story that will leave children to dream about other fictional connections with Mother Nature. It inspires me to get outside and look for animals like Bartholomew in order to learn their stories, too.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Throughout the book, Bartholomew compares and contrasts himself with other animals to help figure out what animal he is. This book would be a great introduction to compare and contrast using the conversations Bartholomew has as well as the illustrations of the different animals.
Students could also use this book as a jumping off point for an animal study of one of the animals within the book. Each animals is quickly discussed, so students could pick the animal that interests them and complete an inquiry project about the animal.
Discussion Questions: How does Bartholomew determine that he is a crow?; How is he different from ______?; How is he the same as ______?
**Thank you Nicole at Sasquatch Books for providing copies for review!**