Cover image for Great northern diver : the loon
Great northern diver : the loon
Great northern diver : the loon
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
Boston : Little, Brown, c1990.
Physical Description:
Introduces the elusive loon, one of the most primitive birds in the United States.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
J 598.4 ESBE New or Popluar Book Juv Nonfiction

On Order



With a text written by a poet and illustrations by a wildlife painter, this book contains information on the loon, which is an endangered bird from North America. Migration, nesting, mating and parenting are all captured in detail.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-- The call of the loon will echo long after this book has been closed. Using a picture-book format, Esbensen and Brown record the behavior of a pair of common loons during the summer nesting season. From the opening double-page illustration of a pair of loons sweeping into a panoramic lake landscape, to the final view of an empty snow-covered nest, a sense of place and the rhythms of nature are clearly established. Clear, lively language brings immediacy to the narration; thus, readers will feel personally involved in observing the loons from a lakeshore vantage point, watching them establish territory, perform courtship rituals, build a nest, and raise their chick. Facts about physical characteristics retained from the loon's prehistoric ancestors and explanations of the four types of calls a loon is capable of creating fit smoothly into the text. Brown skillfully combines double-page landscapes with close-up views of the loons throughout the book. The black-and-white patterns of their breeding plumage are clear and crisp, and she captures realistic positions as they dive, fly, and protect their nests. While facts about the loon are available in bird identification guides and reference materials, no one book captures the beauty of this water bird in its serene summer habitat better than this one. --Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-4. This quiet, elegant picture book introduces the loon, an unusual looking and sometimes startling water fowl that clearly strikes the author as a bird worth knowing about. Her claim becomes clear in an appreciative text that explains much about these birds, including their status as the most primitive in North America. Information on their physical appearance, migratory patterns, reproductive habits, and behavior emerges easily from the graceful writing and distinctive illustrations. Brown's accompanying watercolors show off the birds and their northern setting with assurance, supporting specific factual information and making the watery, woodsy landscape seem real. A lovely introduction. --Denise Wilms