A Snowy Owl Story for a Snowy Day

Snowy Owl Story Islandport photoThose staring eyes of a Snowy Owl on the cover will grab lots of readers for Melissa Kim’s new book, A Snowy Owl Story, published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth. The cover illustrations and others in the book were done by the obviously-very-talented Jada Fitch of Portland.

This is a children’s board book, slated for release later this month, and the first in a series called “Wildlife on the Move.” The series is a partnership between Islandport Press and Maine Audubon.

If the rest of the books are as good as A Snowy Owl Story, this will be a very profitable partnership. I am not exaggerating when I say I personally loved the book, and can’t wait until my new 10-month-old granddaughter is old enough for me to read it to her. Actually, I think I’ll get started on that now!

The “Wildlife on the Move” series will bring engaging stories about wildlife migration, conservation and respectful human interaction with nature to a Pre-K through second grade audience. Melissa Kim is working with Audubon naturalists to create scientifically accurate stories. What a great idea!

“Most books for the pre-K audience are very basic natural history books that simply recite facts about animals” says Kim. “These books tell stories about specific wildlife, how and why they move and what role people can play in their lives. I’ve not seen board books like this before and am honored to be part of this unique partnership to help introduce young people to important wildlife conservation concepts.”

A Snowy Owl Story is based on a true story of an owl’s journey from the Arctic to Portland, Maine. I only wish the owl had stopped in Mount Vernon! Actually, we’ve seen Snowy Owls in our area, as these amazing birds have moved south into Maine in pretty good numbers.

I don’t want to give the entire story away, but the book’s owl was captured in Portland, transferred to wildlife rehabilitators at Avian Haven in Freedom, and released the following day near Rockland.

The book will launch at Maine Audubon’s Winter Carnival celebration on February 14 at their Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth. Then the book will be available throughout the state at bookstores and online at Islandport’s website. Ten percent of the earnings from book sales will support Maine Audubon’s education outreach programs that benefit underserved preschools statewide.

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. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.