An Arctic tern can fly as many as 50,000 miles in its annual migration, and as this bird chases summer across the hemispheres, it sees more sunlight than any other living thing. In this luminous celebration of such astonishing aerial feats, author and visual artist Timothy Musso charts the migratory path of an Arctic tern family with intricately designed woodcut illustrations that propel the reader along as a partner on a most incredible journey. Back matter expands on the poetic text with additional details about the Arctic tern and other animals.
Arctic terns journey from pole to pole and back each year, and Musso charts one female tern’s travels in a visually stunning picture book that blends accuracy and a sense of wonder. With their white bodies, black caps, and bright red bills and feet, the terns are a study in contrast, and captivating woodcut spreads show the female traveling “between cresting waves and waterspouts,” encountering other species, and finding a mate along the way. Musso’s fine lines, reminiscent of scratchboard art, add topographical dimension to the landscapes while implying magnetic currents in the air (“Scientists think it is possible that Arctic terns use Earth’s magnetic field to accurately navigate,” back matter reads). In the top right corner of some spreads, inconspicuous maps note the month and global location of terns traveling to and from nesting grounds in this bravura sequence, which finds poetry in scientific observation.
–Publishers Weekly(Starred Review), 09/01/2023