Thornhill, Jan. Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow, The. Jan Thornhill, Illus. Non-fiction. Groundwood, 04/2018. pp. $18.95 .978-1-7730-6006-4. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-6.
The house sparrow evolved to live alongside humans over 10,000 years ago, when grain was first cultivated, and this informative and fascinating account chronicles the highlights of our interconnected histories over the ensuing millennia. The worldwide spread of the adaptable sparrow, and the human response, is brought to life in historic snapshots, from Ancient Egypt and Roman Britain to Nineteenth-Century America and the present day. Possible explanations for modern declines in sparrow populations are considered, and it’s posited that “the culprit” could be “as unhealthy for humans as it is for the house sparrow.” Each two-page spread contains vibrant, textured full-bleed digital illustrations, and the extensive back matter includes a map of house sparrow distribution worldwide, an illustrated life cycle, resources and selected references, a well-curated glossary, and a list of other wild animals that live in proximity to humans (and have their own rich histories). An excellent choice for public and elementary school non-fiction collections.
Caroline Davis, Benicia Public Library