Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Can a loon chick hatched late in the season survive the many challenges its environment presents?


Sometimes the best stories are based on true events.

In the newly published children’s story "The Littlest Loon," author Robert Kutter and illustrator Debra Johnson show how a loon chick hatched late in the season manages to survive and thrive, in spite of significant challenges.

Born late in June, a full month behind schedule, a baby loon chick finds itself literally in over its head when the fourth of July holiday brings water skiers, jet-skis, and pontoon boats to its Minnesota lake.
Bobbing alone in the water, separated from its parents, the tiny chick struggles to stay afloat as waves threaten to swamp it.

A man and woman watching from shore realize the baby is in peril. They hop in their fishing boat, speed to the chick, and scoop it up with a fishing net. Driving to where they last spotted an adult, they release the peeping chick.

Victory! The parent loons are reunited with their baby.

Having survived the peril of a holiday weekend, the chick grows bigger and stronger, as revealed in Johnson’s lovely pastel illustrations. But when summer turns to fall, the parents migrate south, leaving the loon chick to fend for itself. Now the question is, will it be strong enough to fly from the lake before ice settles in for the winter?

Kutter comments, "The loon is the state bird of Minnesota and one of the most beautiful and beloved migratory birds to inhabit the Great Lakes states and Canada and Alaska during the summer season. After rescuing a loon chick last summer with my wife, I thought the story would make a good children’s book about survival and perseverance in the face of unlikely odds."

Author: Robert Kutter is a retired high school language arts teacher who lives with his wife Nancy at Big Birch Lake near Grey Eagle, Minnesota. He edits the lake association newsletter and maintains its web page and Facebook page and enjoys observing the natural wonders on and near a body of water.
Illustrator: Debra Johnson is a retired high school science teacher who enjoys working in pastels. Her illustrations for "The Littlest Loon" were based on photographs taken by the author and others. She too lives at Big Birch Lake, where she and her husband Craig enjoy the natural surroundings of water, land, and beautiful sunsets.

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The Littlest Loon, Written by Robert Kutter, Illustrated by Debra Johnson; Sunray Printing Solutions; Category: Juvenile Fiction; Hard Cover: 978-0615877174, $16.95; Availability: Amazon.com, Book World stores in Minnesota, and independent book stores and specialty shops

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