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Children's Fiction Poetry (see Also Stories In Verse)

Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel

And Other Poems of Birds in Flight

by (author) Susan Vande Griek

illustrated by Mark Hoffmann

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), Ducks, Geese, etc., Birds
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4
  • Reading age: 6 to 9


This lyrical celebration of birds explores the fascinating ways these creatures move through the air. For each of twelve birds from around the world, a captivating poem describes the animal's distinctive movement and the special word associated with that movement, from geese who skein and puffins who wheel, to crows who mob and starlings who murmurate. The evocative language conveys the beauty of each bird and describes the sights and sounds of how each one makes its own unmistakable way in the world. An informational sidebar complements each poem, describing the reasons behind the bird's way of flying.

Award-winning children's author Susan Vande Griek has created a unique exploration of the magnificence of birds in flight. Illustrator Mark Hoffmann captures the animals with bold, highly engaging artwork that makes this book a visual standout among traditional nature books. All of the factual content has been verified by ornithological experts. End matter includes further information about each bird and a glossary. Along with the book's use for poetry units, it also has applications for life science lessons on animals and the characteristics of living things.

About the authors

Susan Vande Griek is the author of several children’s books. Her non-fiction picture book Loon, illustrated by Karen Reczuch, was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction and the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. Susan has also written the acclaimed middle-grade novel A Gift for Ampato and a picture-book biography of Emily Carr, The Art Room, illustrated by Pascal Milelli, which won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award.

She divides her time between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

Susan Vande Griek's profile page

Mark Hoffmann's profile page


  • Short-listed, Forest of Reading Yellow Cedar Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor List, Skipping Stones Magazine
  • Unknown, Best of the Best books of 2019, Chicago Public Library

Editorial Reviews

An elegant introduction to the wonder of flight that will have readers watching the behavior of neighborhood birds long after the book has been absorbed.


... engaging and practical.

Quill & Quire

A fresh and original approach to the study of birds and words.

Kirkus Reviews

... sure to be a hit.

CM Magazine

This nice combination of poetry, prose, and illustrations make this a good read-aloud and book to share.

School Library Journal

Centered on the peculiar and charming verbs describing specific patterns and types of bird flight, this book pairs poetry and prose to explore the aerial behaviors of 12 species.

Publishers Weekly

Other titles by Susan Vande Griek

Other titles by Mark Hoffmann

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