Hummingbirds are fascinating little creatures that have captured the imagination of people for thousands of years. Since they are only found in the Americas, the myths and legends about this tiny bird originated from the peoples of North and South America. These native cultures wrote stories to offer explanations for the behavior and physical characteristics of this graceful species- Why does the hummingbird drink nectar? What accounts for its amazing flying abilities? Why is the hummingbird attracted to the color red? Jeannette Larson and Adrienne Yorinks have compiled facts and folklore about these intriguing fliers that will answer these questions and many more. Readers will also get a glimpse into the different cultures that have been transfixed for centuries by this bird, as well as learn many interesting scientific facts discovered by modern-day ornithologists. Adrienne's bold and unique mixed-media quilts illustrate the hummingbird in nature and the mystery of these birds in ancient folklore. Substantial back matter includes an index, a glossary of terms, suggested further reading and websites, a bibliography, sources, resources, and a list of hummingbird sanctuaries.
Gr 4-6-In a narrative that flows easily between fact and lore, hummingbird behavior is thoroughly described and interwoven with the folktales it generated among Native American peoples. These birds must consume one-and-a-half times their body weight each day in nectar and insects. The pourquoi tale from the Hitchiti people of the Southeast United States explains that Hummingbird lost a race to Heron (and its right to eat fish) by constantly stopping to sip nectar from the flowers. All the stories show how ancient people answered the "how and why" questions of the behaviors they observed, and these stories beautifully echo modern-day scientific observations. The full-color photos of quilts and embroidery by Yorinks invite readers to stop and savor each one. This colorful combination of fact and folklore is amplified by a glossary with nicely detailed definitions, a list of hummingbird sanctuaries, and sources of the folktales.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.