Loon story is beautifully illustrated and written

I once played the haunting cries of a loon at a legislative hearing, to emphasize the importance of banning lead sinkers and jigs that poison and kill this iconic bird. The good news is that the legislature did just that.

DSCN5592My Dad is a wood carver and his carved loons have always been his most popular. He’s carved over 100 and they are stunning. Everyone in Maine recognizes the beauty and importance of our loons.

That’s just one of the reasons I expect The Lake Where Loon Lives by Brenda Steeves Sturgis to be a bit hit. Published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth, this children’s book is beautifully illustrated by Brooke Carlton. Maine Audubon hosted a special event on May 17 to launch the book. It’s getting a lot of deserved attention.

lake_where_loon_lives_cover_web (1)The story involves a loon and her chicks and includes flies, fish, and the antics of a young boy. The lilting language is poetic and fun to read to a youngster. And while I don’t usually like to give away the ending of a book, this final passage conveys just what I am telling you. Please read it out loud.

But the boy, the fish, and the fly go away,

and Loon is content at the end of the day,

watching her chicks, not making a peep,

snuggled by feathers and ready for sleep,

in wings that cuddle and tuck in tight

as Loon wails out to all…

Good night!

Here on the lake where loon lives.

While the story certainly was of interest to my grandson Vishal, he was really captivated by Carlton’s watercolors. As I read the story to Vishal, he grabbed some paper and a pen and began drawing the story, first the loon, then the chicks, then the fly, and of course the fish (he’s an avid angler), and finally the boy.

Perhaps I’ve got a budding illustrator in the family!

PS. After I finished writing this review, I shared it with my wife Linda, a first grade teacher. She grabbed the book and took it to school for her kids. I don’t expect I’ll ever see it again! But I will remember it, just like I do those early evening calls of the loons we enjoy at home and a

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. George also hosts, with Harry Vanderweide, a TV talk show called Wildfire, now in its 13th year and focused on hunting, fishing, environmental, and conservation issues. The show is owned and produced by Maine Audubon and seen on its website as well as on the Time Warner cable TV station throughout the state.