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Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City

by Janet Schulman
Illustrated by Meilo So

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: 9780375845581

Ages 5-10

As in other fine recent picture books, Janet Schulman relates the true story of the red-tailed hawk who settled in New York City only to be evicted with his mate from their upscale digs atop a swanky apartment building overlooking Central Park—until public outcry put the wealthy (human) residents to shame. But Schulman’s account stands out in several ways. First, she tells more of the story, beginning back in 1991 with the first sightings of the adolescent hawk in Central Park and concluding in 2005 with another hawk who has settled in the city—believed to be a son of Pale Male. She also builds on the natural drama inherent in the story’s outline with captivating details and moments of humor. When the first of Pale Male and his mate’s chicks is learning to fly, she writes, “The fledgling spent the day half-flying, half-hopping from balcony to balcony until Pale Male gave his brave baby a first lesson in how to fly like a self-respecting hawk.” Meilo So’s watercolor illustrations provide a few dizzying perspectives and plenty of humor, warmth, and charm.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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