The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon


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John James Audubon was a boy who loved the out-of-doors more than the in. He was a boy who believed in studying birds in nature, not just from books. And, in the fall of 1804, he was a boy determined to learn if the small birds nesting near his Pennsylvania home really would return the following spring.
This book reveals how the youthful Audubon pioneered a technique essential to our understanding of birds. Capturing the early passion of America’s greatest painter of birds, this story will leave young readers listening intently for the call of birds large and small near their own homes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618243433
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/27/2004
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 207,490
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile: AD790L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Melissa Sweet is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of many fine children’s books including Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White, winner of the NCTE Orbis Pictus award, Balloons Over Broadway, a Sibert winner, and The Right Word and A River of Words, both Caldecott Honors. Reviewers have described her unique mixed-media illustrations as “exuberant,” “outstanding,” and “a creative delight.” Melissa lives on the beautiful coast of Maine. In addition to writing and painting, she enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. For more information about the author and her work, visit her online at

Jacqueline Davies is the talented writer of several novels and picture books, including The Lemonade War series and The Boy Who Drew Birds. Ms. Davies lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with her family.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This winsomely imagined account of an episode when Audubon was 18 years old joins the flocks of commemorative works. Sweet's illustrations soar.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Davies related her story with immediacy, evoking Audobon's keen curiosity and the lure of the outdoors as she describes his gradual discovery of some important facts about bird migrations.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

This handsome book makes a beguiling introduction to the painter.
Booklist, ALA

Sweet's relaxed watercolor style and skillful incorporation of collage, plus a lively narration that illuminates Audobon's passion for observation and sets his pivotal insight into context, make this appealing vignette a fine introduction to his work.
Horn Book

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Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
mrcmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"'I will bring my books to the cave,' John James decided. 'And my pencils and paper. I will even bring my flute. I will study my cave birds every day. I will draw them just as they are.' And because he was a boy who loved the out-of-doors more than the in, that is just what he did."What a treasure for those of us who love the out-of-doors more than the in. Davies book reads like an engaging story rather than a biography or history lesson, which it is. Audubon was supposed to be in America tending a farm and learning how to make money (though his father also wanted him out of the way of Napoleon's war). Setting out to prove what that small birds migrate rather than hibernate in large groups underwater or fly to the moon and back, to proposed theories at the time, Audubon uses patience, keen observation, and an ingenious plan to find some answers that make sense. What I love about this book, as well as books about Darwin and Muir, is that it is a story about passion, about someone who can't do anything but study birds, even if it made sense to few others in the world at that time. A wonderful subject for children and adults.
RangerRoss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book gives a narrative account of the life of John James Audubon. It is illustrated with a mix of original drawings, Audubon's paintings, and artifacts from his life. Though the author may have taken some artistic liscence with the exact events, the story tells a narrative of the young life of Audubon before he became the celebrated painter. It details how he used scientific investigation, such as bird banding, to delve into the lives of the species. One minor complaint is that the author seems to confuse phoebe's and pewees, two similar species of flycatchers-- or at least confused me, an avid birder-- in her narrative. This book would be both a good introduction to the life of audubon as well as a nice introduction to methods naturalists might use to answer questions scientifically.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She climbed out of her nest and pdded into the camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have not read but it looks goods