Wings, Waves & Woods Festival is back! Island Heritage Trust has planned a full schedule of educational webinars and Zoom meetings, prerecorded experiences, and limited in-person walks and talks (registration required). The 2021 schedule and information on how to register are available online.
To celebrate the festival’s return, the Stonington Public Library compiled a list of new titles around the theme Wings, Waves & Woods for our readers to explore. Join Rich MacDonald on his yearlong quest to chase the birds of Hancock County. Or take a deep dive into the all things lobsters in the latest children’s book from Peter and Connie Roop. You can find titles for everyone from the budding naturalist to the seasoned fisherman in our newest non-fiction and picture book acquisitions. Grab a book to read outside before the winged pests of summer return.
|Birds of Maine
by Peter D. Vickery
The first comprehensive overview of Maine’s incredibly rich birdlife in more than seven decades, Birds of Maine is a detailed account of all 464 species recorded in the Pine Tree State. It is also a thoroughly researched, accessible portrait of a region undergoing rapid changes, with southern birds pushing north, northern birds expanding south, and once-absent natives like Atlantic Puffins brought back by innovative conservation techniques pioneered in Maine.
|The Book of Eels
by Patrik Svensson
Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the “eel question”: Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don’t understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.
|Fathoms: The World in the Whale
by Rebecca Giggs
Fathoms: The World in the Whale blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? Will our connection to these storied animals be transformed by technology? What can observing whales teach us about the complexity, splendour, and fragility of life? In Fathoms, we learn about whales so rare they have never been named, whale songs that sweep across hemispheres in annual waves of popularity, and whales that have modified the chemical composition of our planet’s atmosphere. We travel to Japan to board the ships that hunt whales and delve into the deepest seas to discover the plastic pollution now pervading the whale’s undersea environment.
|Featherhood: A Memoir of Two Fathers and a Magpie
by Charlie Gilmour
One spring day, a baby magpie falls out of its nest and into Charlie Gilmour’s hands. Magpies, he soon discovers, are as clever and mischievous as monkeys. They are also notorious thieves, and this one quickly steals his heart. By the time the creature develops shiny black feathers that inspire the name Benzene, Charlie and the bird have forged an unbreakable bond.
|Finding the Mother Tree
by Suzanne Simard
In her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths–that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complex, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.
Simard writes how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies–and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.
|The Language of Butterflies
by Wendy Williams
Butterflies are one of the world’s most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we’ve encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these “flying flowers”—creatures far more intelligent and tougher than we give them credit for.
|Little Big Year: Chasing Acadia’s Birds
by Richard Wayne MacDonald
Join field biologist Richard MacDonald on a year-long journey to document the birds of Acadia National Park and Downeast Maine. As you read this book, you’ll feel as though you are sitting in Richard’s living room as he shares his adventures in an easy-to-read story-telling style. With each bird, he relates finding the species while weaving in fun facts and stories from his 40+ years of study, birding, and travel from Newfoundland to Antarctica. (Register for our upcoming event with Rich)
|Seaweed Chronicles: A World at Water’s Edge
by Susan Hand Shetterly
In Seaweed Chronicles, Shetterly takes readers deep into the world of this essential organism by providing an immersive, often poetic look at life on the rugged shores of her beloved Gulf of Maine, where the growth and harvesting of seaweed is becoming a major industry. While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it—and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made. Ideal for readers of such books as The Hidden Life of Trees and How to Read Water, Seaweed Chronicles is a deeply informative look at a little understood and too often unappreciated part of our habitat.
|Why We Swim
by Bonnie Tsui
We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.
|A World on the Wing
by Scott Weidensaul
Bird migration entails almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that will fly nonstop from Canada to Venezuela—the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest—avoiding dehydration by “drinking” moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy. Crossing the Pacific Ocean in nine days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides—and their reaction time actually improves. Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork, in A World on the Wing Weidensaul unveils with dazzling prose the miracle of nature taking place over our heads.
by Antoinette Portis
Join a young girl as she explores her surroundings and sees that water is everywhere. But water doesn’t always look the same, it doesn’t always feel the same, and it shows up in lots of different shapes. Water can be a lake, it can be steam, it can be a tear, or it can even be a snowman.
|Maine Lobster ABC
by Peter & Connie Roop and illustrated by Jeremiah Savage
Learn all about lobsters and lobstermen, their lore and their gear, in this beautifully illustrated book for both children and adults. Peter and Connie Roop are the authors of more than 100 children’s books, including Maine Lighthouse ABC. They put a lot of time into their research for each book, thus providing good information for all ages, along with very silly lobster jokes and a section of “fun facts” about lobsters. Jeremiah Savage illustrated both ABCs. His bold illustrations with vibrant colors and a semi-realistic, cartoony style focus on the diversity and uniqueness of the lobster industry in Maine.
|Moth: An Evolution Story
by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
Powerful and visually spectacular, Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection.
|The Old Boat
by Jarret Pumphrey & Jerome Pumphrey
Off a small island, a boy and his grandmother set sail in their beloved fishing boat. They ride the waves, dreaming, catching fish, and seeing the wonders of the ocean. But soon the boy is sailing the boat himself, venturing further from shore as the waters grow dirty and polluted. When a storm washes him ashore and wrecks the old boat, he sees home in a new light. He decides to turn the tides of his fortune, cleaning the island’s waters and creating a new life with a family to call his own. With an eye-catching design and masterfully detailed illustrations, The Old Boat is an exquisite story about caring for the places we call home.
|The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor
by Amy Alznauer & Ping Zhu
Right from the start young Flannery O’Connor took a shine to chickens. They pecked around her backyard, filled her sketch book, and starred in her stories. Eventually, her early occupation blossomed into a full-blown quest to find the strangest, most unusual bird. At the same time she honed her craft as a writer, observing the true strangeness of life itself.
by Clare Helen Welsh and illustrated by Ashley Lindsay
A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, its difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they’re near and full of life. Other times, they’re distant and quiet. The Tide is a story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.
|Whale in a Fishbowl
by Troy Howell & Richard Jones
Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city–it’s the only home she’s ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it: a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer–and get all choked up– when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free–and longing to find someone just like her.
by Karen Jameson and illustrated by Marc Boutavant
In rhyming text, a little girl and her dog wander through the woods, saying goodnight to all her favorite wild animals before finally arriving at her own cabin for a good night’s sleep.
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