Seabird in the Forest


I can’t remember the last time I read a nature book that was so beautiful it made me ache to be outdoors. But Seabird in the Forest, by Joan Dunning, is one of those books that is so pure and wistful, it makes your heart ache with love for nature.

Seabird in the Forest tells the story of the elusive Marbled Murrelet, a stand-offish, self-respecting little bird that spends a large portion of its life riding huge, rolling ocean waves and diving for tiny little silver fish. This mysterious little bird has peaked the interest of sea-goers and nature-lovers for as far back as anyone can remember, because until recently, no one could figure out where this ocean-loving fowl laid its eggs.

But now comes author Joan Dunning to answer that question. Dunning beckons readers to follow her into the soft shadowy beauty of the redwood forest, and then to a place high above the forest floor, where the single-minded little Murrelet seeks out one specific tree where she has laid her eggs in the past. Her loyal mate stands guard close by while the little robin-sized female lays a chicken-sized egg, and afterward, the doting parents take turns warming and turning the precious egg. While they wait for it to hatch, Dunning introduces readers to all sorts of curious forest creatures, like the varied thrush and the wandering salamander.

Through some of the most stunning pictures you’ve ever seen, readers get a visual lesson in the art of “how to emerge from a shell.” The adorable little newborn Murrelet is covered in down and hungry as heck, and uses its survival instinct that tell it to sit still as stone and wait for its parents to bring it a salty silver fish.

This is such a lovely read! I have personally never seen any of the creatures Dunning describes, yet I feel like I’m right there in the cool of the forest, watching nature come to life. Dunning’ writes with a soft, simple, lilting style, and her illustrations offer a quiet strength that will turn even the most adamant indoor-person into a staunch nature-lover.

For a great read for your science class, reading class or school library, be sure to read Seabird in the Forest.

Best wishes and happy reading,

Rita Lorraine


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