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John James Audubon was a boy who loved the out-of-doors more than the in.

He was a boy who believed in studying birds in nature, not just from books. And, in the fall of 1804, he was a boy determined to learn if the small birds nesting near his Pennsylvania home really would return the following spring.

This book reveals how the youthful Audubon pioneered a technique essential to our understanding of birds. Capturing the early passion of America’s greatest painter of birds, this story will leave young readers listening intently for the call of birds large and small near their own homes.

Find this new edition of THE BOY WHO DREW BIRDS at local independent bookstores, through IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or in your local library.

FOR EDUCATORS: Author Jacqueline Davies, created a stunning Educator’s Guide, including classroom activities, linking to science and technology, extinction, migration, nature journaling, and more.


A Junior Library Guild Selection

John Burroughs Nature Book Award

Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award

Outstanding Science Trade Book, NSTA

New York Public Library's Best Books

Sweet’s illustrations soar, incorporating mixed-media collage into her line-and-watercolor paintings in a gloriously eclectic mélange that evokes both the time and Audubon’s scientific enthusiasms.
— Kirkus, starred review
Davies does full justice to this tale of intellectual precocity and single-mindedness.
— The Washington Post
Melissa Sweet’s relaxed watercolor style and skillful incorporation of collage, plus a lively narration that illuminates Audubon’s passion for observation and sets his pivotal insight into context, make this appealing vignette a fine introduction to his work.
— The Horn Book
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