The book's endpapers show the migratory route of the Wood Thrush.

Reviews


Booklist , April 1, 1997
Ages 5-8. Cherry has a gift for sharing her knowledge through engaging fictional stories. Here, through the tale of a young wood thrush, readers learn the dangers migratory birds face. Cherry's illustrations, always a feast for the eyes, provide colorful, richly detailed forest scenes as a handsome backdrop for the story of Flute's autumn migration from his birthplace in a Maryland forest to a Central American rain forest. There he rests and feeds before beginning his journey back north in the spring. Along the way, Flute faces natural predators, but the destruction of habitat is presented as the most serious threat. A concluding author's note makes the point more directly and offers some concrete suggestions for youngsters who want to help. A nice addition to Cherry's impressive body of environmental literature for children. Lauren Peterson, Copyright© 1997, American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Kirkus Reviews , April 1, 1997
When the snow flies, thousands of birds migrate south to avoid the icy temperatures and shortage of food. With canny understatement that gives the story its power, Cherry traces one wood thrush's flight from Maryland to Costa Rica, and back again. The trip is filled with risks, both natural and manmade. Flute must battle natural foes like cats and harsh weather along both legs of his journey. Forests where he once took refuge have become suburban sprawls, and lawn chemicals taint insects Flute eats, making him ill. Later when Flute meets his mate, a bird called Feather, they end up unknowingly raising a cowbird (its mother sneakily lays her egg in their nest), and lose one of their own babies. Cherry documents nature as it is today, without idealizing or fictionalizing the struggles of bird life. The story provides crucial, copiously-researched natural information for readers, backed up by an author's note. Bright, realistic illustrations give the book a picture-book look, but include plenty of detail, particularly in the lush rainforest settings where Flute holes up until spring. (Picture book. 6-9) --Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Horn Book
Detailed watercolors accompany a fictionalized account of a wood thrush's first year as he migrates from his birthplace in a Maryland woods to a Costa Rican rain forest. Later he returns to the woods to mate and rear a family. Pointed lessons about human destruction of forests thread through the story of the flight each way. Though strained and didactic, the story and illustrations contain much useful information. Copyright © 1997 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

Synopsis
The author of The Great Kapok Tree now presents Flute's Journe--the story of one wood thrush's first year and his arduous first migration--across thousands of miles--from his nesting ground in the Belt Woods in Maryland to his winter home in Costa Rica, and back again. Full-color illustrations.

NATURAL HISTORY 
The fully illustrated and warmly told story of a wood thrush who starts life in the woods of Maryland, and migrates across the Gulf of Mexico to the Monteverde Rain Forest in Costa Rica. Flute's struggles for survival demonstrate a variety of conservation issues for migrating birds. The handsome watercolor illustrations of birds and habitats in both North and Central America are terrific. Ages 4 to 8.

Flute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush

Wood thrushes need deep forest in which to build their nests and live. Here Feather sits on her nest incubating her eggs.

HOW KIDS HELPED TO SAVE BELT WOODS
This is a true story. When Lynne Cherry was just beginning to write Flute's Journey, a friend of hers who studied birds, asked her to put Flute in The Belt Woods. She explained to Lynne that Belt Woods was a 600 acre tract of land that had more nesting migratory birds than anywhere else in the Washington DC area but, she told Lynne, the Belt Woods was in danger of being cut down for a housing development.
The Belt Woods was owned by a man named Seton Belt. It had been in his family since it was given to them as a land grant from the King of England hundreds of years before. Seton Belt's family, for many generations, did not cut down the trees and so, when Seton Belt was an old man, he wanted to will his land to a group that would continue to protect it. He willed it to the Episcopal Church and in the will it said that no trees would be cut and the land would not be sold.

However, after Seton Belt died, the Episcopal church had the will overturned and was planning to sell it to a developer for $9 million. Many members of the church who had known Seton Belt tried to convince the church not to sell the land to a developer. The Trust for Public Land offered to buy the land for $4.5 million but, initially, the church turned down that offer.

As Lynne was speaking to groups of schoolchildren around the US, she told this story to them and she asked them to write to the bishop of the episcopal church, Reverend Haines.
Some of the letters were very hard-hitting. Here are a few of them:

"Dear Reverend Haines,
You got the land for free. Can't you take the $4.5 million that the Trust for Public Land has offered you and save the land?"

"Dear Reverend Haines,
Seton Belt trusted you. How can you go against him?"

"Dear Reverend Haines,
God is going to be really mad at you!"


These letters were powerful. The children who wrote them were interviewed and they read their letters on Sunday morning News With Charles Osgood which brought national attention to Belt Woods. The week afterward, the church announced that they would sell the land to the Trust for Public Land and it would be protected forever.

Kids letters can really make a difference. Kids can help save open space if they understand how important it is to save these vanishing ecosystems.

Flute's Journey LINKS


Living on Earth click to listen to Lynne Cherry read (on the mp3 logo) Flute's Journey on NPR

Activities to Do After Reading Flute's Journey


After reading Flute’s Journey,read the Birds and Save the Land You Love issues of Nature’s Course at SchoolsGoGreen.org.

*Take a nature walk or hike with your local Sierra Club or Bird Club. Most communities have a chapter of Sierra Club or another outdoor club. Discover the natural world in your community with your family and friends by going on some of the hikes offered by these outdoor clubs. You can find contact information for these local clubs on the internet by putting in “Bird Club + the name of your town or “Sierra club” + the name of your town.

*Learn About Saving Open Space in Your Community. On the internet find out what conservation activities are happening in your community.

*Naturalize and restore your back yard and your schoolyard.

*Plant Cedar trees which provide food for many migrating birds, especially cedar waxwings. You can find information about which plants to plant by going to the Resources section in the Butterflies and the Birds issues of Nature’s Course at the website of the Center for Children’s Environmental Education (CEE) at SchoolsGoGreen.org.

*Try to locate bird habitat in your community. Work to preserve it and.begin to create bird habitat in your yard and in community.

*Remind your family and neighbors about the importance of keeping their cats indoors while birds are nesting and fledging in the spring.

*Research what conservation activities are happening in your community. Check the local newspapers. Find a local land trust by keying in “Land Trust + the name of your town or the nearest city. You might be able to find out about a woods or piece of land they are trying to preserve and help to preserve it.

*Begin the process of naturalizing/​restoring your back yard and schoolyard. Grass provides habitat for very few other living things. Dig up some of the lawn around the school and plant berry-bearing bushes for the birds and butterfly bushes.

*After reading Flute’s Journey,read the Birds and Save the Land You Love issues of Nature’s Course at SchoolsGoGreen.org.

*Take a nature walk or hike with your local Sierra Club or Bird Club. Most communities have a chapter of Sierra Club or another outdoor club. Discover the natural world in your community with your family and friends by going on some of the hikes offered by these outdoor clubs. You can find contact information for these local clubs on the internet by putting in “Bird Club + the name of your town or “Sierra club” + the name of your town.

*Learn About Saving Open Space in Your Community. On the internet find out what conservation activities are happening in your community.

*Naturalize and restore your back yard and your schoolyard.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ABOUT How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming A non-scary book about Climate Change Science.

Short Documentary Films
Eight Short Documentary Films Showing Youth Making a Difference
The Great Kapok tree has been read by millions of children and translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.
How Groundhog's Garden Grew will inspire children to explore gardening fun!
A seed from a mangrove tree floats on the sea until it comes to rest on the shore of a faraway lagon where, over time, it becomes a mangrove island that shelters many birds and animals, even during a hurricane.
A wonderful compilation of Essays for Grown-ups by a Variety of Writers
Share Lynne's Odessey from the spring on her mountaintop farm to the river
Climate Change Science and Solutions
A National Geographic Book of Water Essays
The Book includes 30 voices of humanitarians, activists, and politicians who are at the forefront of saving Earth's most vital natural resource: fresh water
Amazon.com Feature!
You can "read" the first few pages of The Shaman's Apprentice on Amazon.com
Click here to read it!

For News about Lynne Cherry's movies on Kids Tackling Global Climate Change and Other Environmental Issues go to YoungVoicesForThePlanet.com

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