Nominees:   20172016201520142013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001

2018 Nominee

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk

By Jan Thornhill. Published in 2016 by Groundwood Books

For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive.

In this stunningly illustrated non-fiction picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Jan Thornhill tells the tragic story of these birds that “weighed as much as a sack of potatoes and stood as tall as a preteen’s waist.” Their demise came about in part because of their anatomy. They could swim swiftly underwater, but their small wings meant they couldn’t fly and their feet were so far back on their bodies, they couldn’t walk very well. Still the birds managed to escape their predators much of the time … until humans became seafarers.

Read Canadian Materials Review

7 thoughts on “The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk

  1. Wildwood school

    This book was a very nice book it was my favorite out of all the ones I read. I would rate this 4/5 it tells a lot about history and the power that humans have over extinction
    it was quite sad I felt bad for the auks it is a real page turner

  2. Springbank Middle School

    I thought that it was an interesting story and very well written. I was sad when the author started talking about the birds dying out slowly. It really makes you think, how many other species might die out similar to the great auk? It is also saddening how It takes a species to go extinct for people to finally realize the problem. But, in the end, I thought it was very well written and definitely top ten. Joceline


Review This Book