The story begins with a big eye showing through a crack in an egg. Elf finally breaks his shell, feeling the worse for wear from all the work of the past two days. Eventually he opens his eyes to find he is at the top of a tree. “Why had they built so high?” he asks himself, feeling faint. His big sister, Edwina taunts him and his parents tease him with food to encourage him to take his first flight. Leaning to reach the fish his mother is holding, he falls out of the nest and after a fearful first few moments, manages to flap his wings and begins to fly. Although fiction, readers learn a number of eagle facts from the story. Campbell’s wonderful illustrations show Elf’s feelings through his expression-filled eyes as his white down changes to brown. Elf the Eagle was shortlisted for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize in 2008. A study guide is available at Oolichan.com.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.