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After discovering a pair of lost West African storks who can communicate in Morse code, Mr. Kraft, a depot agent on a railroad line, tries to help them return home.
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Grade 5 Up-- In 1935, Burton and Stanley, two storks from Africa, flutter helplessly inside a storm that carries them across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to, roughly, northern Nebraska. Through Morse code, they communicate with an amazed stationmaster on the Chicago and Northwestern railroad. Mr. Kraft taps his telegraph key and the birds click their bills! The man is momentarily beside himself until he gathers his wits and tries to help the unfortunate pair acclimate. As the plot proceeds, others are intent on saving the storks but find themselves working at cross purposes. Mr. Kraft finally arranges for the birds' return home. This short story is so skillfully and artistically written that it seems actually plausible. The initial encounter between the storks and the stationmaster is a delight, but then the story slows. Youngsters will undoubtedly get bogged down in the sophisticated prose and may need some explanations along the way. The vocabulary definitely requires an experienced reader. Even though the plight of the storks may appeal to concerned children, there isn't enough action to sustain their interest throughout. The cartoon sketches break up the text, but do not equal the subtle humor and dignity of this story. --Lynnea McBurney, Woodstone Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A children's book debut by a prolific author of sports stories and westerns. Somewhere on the Chicago & Northwestern line in 1935, Mr. Kraft, Cherrygrove agent, notices two ``wildly disheveled and preposterously ugly'' birds perching on his depot chimney. Kraft, who knows his bird books, promptly identifies them as marabou storks, mysteriously far from home. He even knows they're mute but can clatter their bills, as they proceed to do in what he recognizes as Morse code. Conversing in the manner of colonial gentlemen--but telegraphically, of course--they explain: ``Funnel swallowed us...had brief glimpse Kilimanjaro lower left rear before blown west on fierce horizontal wind.'' Ultimately, it's important for Burton and Stanley to go home--winter, hunting season, and a nearby zoo all threaten. The birds can't fly as far as Africa, but passage is arranged on a ship from the Gulf Coast. What's fun here are the whimsically erudite repartee and tongue- in-cheek descriptions of down-home midwesterners and the flocks of birds that rally round to help. Not as amusing or well plotted as King-Smith's Harry's Mad (1987), but a charming readaloud for a similar audience. Allen's wide-eyed pen-and-ink caricatures add to the humor. (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description David R. Godine Publisher, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Includes dust jacket. dj new We have 1.5 million books to choose from -- Ship within 24 hours -- Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Seller Inventory # mon0000458196
Book Description David R. Godine Publisher, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 55 pages. This is a NEW book from the Hartford Seminary Bookstore; 0.6 x 9.29 x 6.32 Inches. Seller Inventory # 34108
Book Description David R Godine Pub, 1992. Condition: New. Jonathan Allen (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0879238240