Welcome to Fly With Me Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of Fly With Me by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from the Yolen-Stemple family plus 5 chances to win a copy!
My stop on the Fly With Me Blog Tour features Adam Stemple. He tells us about his childhood and growing up a birder.
Growing Up a Birder
by Adam Stemple
I can’t imagine my childhood without birds.
From the moment my siblings and I awoke, we were birdwatching. As we ate breakfast—oatmeal or Raisin Bran or, on special days, pancakes!—we looked out the broad kitchen window that overlooked the feeders and fruiting bushes in our backyard. Sparrows and finches and other small seedeaters fought for space at the feeders or seed on the ground. Cardinals and Blue Jays provided loud splashes of color while Mourning Doves watched from their phone line perches in distinguished disapproval.
The drive to school was a time to spot hawks on telephone poles or tree branches, catch pheasants high-stepping through the dried- out corn fields, or watch waterfowl wing toward the big river that flanked our town. And on weekends we took our binoculars out into the fields and forest behind our house, searching for new lifers.
The excitement of seeing a brand new bird was what I lived for in those days. It wasn’t till I was older that I began to appreciate species I’d seen before, like visiting old friends instead of making a new one. I was a dutiful list-maker, ticking off each new species in the back of my bird book, dreaming that one day I would have a life list as long as my father’s.
But I still have the book. And I’ve checked off a few more names over the years, often with my children in tow. Growing up in the city provided them less birdwatching opportunities than my childhood had, and at sixteen and twenty years old, they don’t call themselves birders. But they can put a bird in a binocular lens on the first try, and they know how to make the pshh-pshh-pshh sound to draw birds out of the bush, and they can tell a buteo from an accipiter by its silhouette.
They are surprised that all their friends don’t have these skills, as well.
December Blog Tour Schedule
About Fly with Me
Enchanting stories, lyrical poems, stunning photography, and fascinating science fill the pages of this treasury celebrating the amazing world of birds.
This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While it’s beautiful, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s sure to be something for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages.
Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.
My review of Fly with Me
I absolutely love Fly with Me. My grandma loved bird watching, and so do my parents. I never learned very much about birds, but I know the basic ones that live around me. The first robin means spring is coming. Hearing a woodpecker trying to make it’s way into my house when I’m a sleeping teenager means I’m going to be in a bad mood (just had to throw that one in there).
This book has so much diversity in it. It’s got something for everyone. The photography is beautiful as are the poems, and the facts and information included are enough to keep you and your kids busy for a long time. You definitely need to check this one out!
Praise for Fly with Me
“Yolen and her three children celebrate birds with a lavishly illustrated compendium of facts, photographs, and poetry…As is characteristic of National Geographic publications, the plentiful photographs are well-chosen and beautifully reproduced. A treasure for browsers and bird lovers everywhere.”
– Kirkus Starred Review
“With text that never talks down to its audience, this makes an ideal choice for family sharing or classroom browsing.”
About the Authors
JANE YOLEN is an author of children’s books, fantasy, and science fiction, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? She is also a poet, a teacher of writing and literature, and a reviewer of children’s literature.
HEIDI STEMPLE was 28 years old when she joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published 20 books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children. Stemple, her two daughters, her mom, and a couple cats live in Massachusetts on a big old farm with two houses.
JASON STEMPLE is an author and photographer. He lives with his wife and children in Charleston, South Carolina.
ADAM STEMPLE is a novelist and musician. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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- One (1) winner will receive a copy of Fly With Me
- US/Canada only, ends 12/30
- Void where prohibited by law