Wings in the Wind
by Julia Walsh
Illustrated by Karel Hayes and John Gorey
“I absolutely LOVED your book. What a lovely, personal story that so many could relate to, adults as well as children. The illustrations are so real that I wanted to touch the pages with the swaying grasses!”
—Lisa Hutchings, teacher, naturalist, mother, Massachusetts Audubon, Newburyport, Massachusetts
“Julia Walsh’s account of Julie and her interest in the mallard duck, presents with vivid imagery, and is a beautiful intergenerational story about friendship and compassion. Children will enjoy hearing about Julie’s curiosity about the life of a mallard duckling, and they will be able to connect with the subtle topic of persevering when faced with a difficult situation.”
—Cecilie Zwick Coker, Lower School Librarian, Sanford School, Hockessin, Delaware
“Wings in the Wind is a delightful story of courage, persistence, and friendship. We watch, through Julie’s eyes, the survival and maturing of a mallard duckling. At the same time, we listen as Julie learns nature’s lessons. Information is accurate; presented in a way that children and adults can feel connected to the adventure. The illustrations are perfect for the story.”
A young girl named Julie delights in solitary exploration along the banks of the Merrimack River, quietly observing the ducks through the tall sea grass. When a mother duck Julie spent the spring watching suddenly vanishes, leaving her ducklings unguarded to fend for themselves, Julie finds a kindred spirit in one brave duckling whose perseverance in finding his own way eventually pays off.
Julie’s relationship with her grandfather, a retired pilot who guides but never pushes, helps her make sense of the duckling’s struggles and her own questions about where good can be found in an uncertain world.
Based on a true account of one duckling’s survival, themes of home, family, friendship, and nature are presented, as it explores the dilemma of security versus growth, for ducklings AND for children. A wonderful read aloud for K-3rd grade, this uplifting story is recommended for nature and science centers, children’s museums, and school and public libraries to support science and social studies sections. The author has lived her life among many flyways where water, ducks, and family intermingle.
About the Author and Illustrators
Author Julia Walsh grew up in Delaware. She loved to study wildlife as she explored the Chesapeake Bay area with her grandfather and his prized Labradors. The author holds degrees in occupational therapy from Boston University and counseling and school psychology from Immaculata University. She has worked in private and public schools as a therapist and educator. The author currently resides in Newburyport where she loves to observe the beauty of nature along the banks of the Merrimack River. Visit her website:
Award winning and New York Times reviewed author and illustrator Karel Hayes has written and illustrated six books and illustrated over twenty-five books, four of them with her son and fellow artist, John Gorey. Her artwork has been shown in several art clubs in New York City, The Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts Sales Gallery and in many other galleries throughout the U.S.