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The tragic tale of the great auk / Jan Thornhill.

Thornhill, Jan (author,, illustrator.).

Available copies

  • 14 of 14 copies available at Sage Library System.

Current holds

0 current holds with 14 total copies.

Summary:

For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive. In this stunningly illustrated non-fiction picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Jan Thornhill tells the tragic story of these birds that "weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a preteen's waist." Their demise came about in part because of their anatomy. They could swim swiftly underwater, but their small wings meant they couldn't fly and their feet were so far back on their bodies, they couldn't walk very well. Still the birds managed to escape their predators much of the time...until humans became seafarers. Great Auks were pursued first by Vikings, then by Inuit, Beothuk and finally European hunters. Their numbers rapidly dwindled. They became collectors' items--their skins were stuffed for museums, to be displayed along with their beautiful eggs. (There are some amazing stories about these stuffed auks--one was stolen from a German museum during WWII by Russian soldiers; another was flown to Iceland and given a red-carpet welcome at the airport.)
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Age Hold Protection Active/Create Date Status Due Date
Athena Public Library X 598.33 THO (Text) 37813000148083 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 03/16/2017 Available -
Baker Richland Branch 598.33 .T512t 2016 (Text) 37814003209419 JUV NON-FICTION - NEW Book None 10/12/2018 Available -
Cook Memorial Library - La Grande J 598.33 Tho (Text) 35178001604365 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 11/23/2016 Available -
Enterprise Public Library J 598.3 Tho (Text) 30001000283426 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 09/09/2021 Available -
Gilliam County Library JNF 598.3 THOR (Text) 37823000161267 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 12/11/2017 Available -
Helix Public Library J 598.3 THO (Text) 37835000103453 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 03/21/2017 Available -
Joseph Public Library J 598.3 THO (Text) 30002000237552 Juvenile Nonfiction Book Branch_Only_6months 12/08/2016 Available -
Lake County Main Library - Lakeview X 598.33 THORNHILL (Text) 37620000870685 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book System_Only_3months 01/21/2017 Available -
Nyssa Public Library j598.33 THO (Text) 36660000493113 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book Branch_Only_3months 10/04/2017 Available -
OTLD Boardman Library J598.33 THO (Text) 37818000246159 Juvenile Non-Fiction Book None 12/20/2016 Available -
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Record details

  • ISBN: 9781554988655
  • ISBN: 1554988659
  • Physical Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
  • Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary, etc.:
For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive. In this stunningly illustrated non-fiction picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Jan Thornhill tells the tragic story of these birds that "weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a preteen's waist." Their demise came about in part because of their anatomy. They could swim swiftly underwater, but their small wings meant they couldn't fly and their feet were so far back on their bodies, they couldn't walk very well. Still the birds managed to escape their predators much of the time...until humans became seafarers. Great Auks were pursued first by Vikings, then by Inuit, Beothuk and finally European hunters. Their numbers rapidly dwindled. They became collectors' items--their skins were stuffed for museums, to be displayed along with their beautiful eggs. (There are some amazing stories about these stuffed auks--one was stolen from a German museum during WWII by Russian soldiers; another was flown to Iceland and given a red-carpet welcome at the airport.)
Study Program Information Note:
Accelerated Reader Middle Grades 6.5 1.0
Subject: Great auk > Juvenile literature.
Extinct birds > Juvenile literature.

Additional Resources