A Nest For Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home Hardcover – Feb 4 2010
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About the Author
Henry Cole is the celebrated illustrator of many books for children, including the Bad Boys series by Margie Palatini, and is also the author and illustrator of the novelA Nest for Celeste.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Beside the beautiful sketches is a story about friendship, trust, loyalty and adventure. Now if that isn't enough to make a great children's book there is the "real story" weaved beautifully into this story about a mouse, a boy and a bird. John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a wildlife artist who captured and posed birds in order to document, sketched, and paint them. Now, we have The National Audubon Society whose mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on bird and other wildlife. There is also a magazine that bares his name.
What Henry Cole does with A Nest for Celeste is take history and embellish it with a lovely tale about a basket weaving mouse, who is looking for a home of her own all alone in this great big world. She is taken under the "pocket" of Joseph, (Audobon's young assistant). She makes friends, helps others and eventually shows Joseph and Audubon that you do not have to injure, or kill a bird to capture its beauty on canvas.
The book has 342 pages but the pictures (some of them full page, makes it go quick). Great chapter book for readers between 6-12, the pictures make it thrilling for the younger kids if you are reading to them and the older kids will love the idea of a big "kid" book. There are pictures, pictures and text and full "grown up" pages of story throughout the book. If I were a kid this would be the ideal read. Heck, it was the ideal read for me as an adult.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: A Nest for Celeste is somewhat reminiscent of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, although Celeste is a likeable character from the start. But I felt the book lacked some of the magic and charm of Edward Tulane.
Each chapter has a little bit of it's own story, which I felt made the book a little disjointed and at times I didn't feel like everything was connected. Mr. Audubon's story is based on the real life artist who drew birds. He hunted and killed the birds and then pinned them in the position he wanted to paint them, and the author doesn't shy away from this in the book. If you have sensitive tweens, there may be some parts that are a little too much for them (there are vivid hunting scenes as well as drawings of the birds pinned to paper).
The drawings are beautiful and detailed and that's really where the book excels. I do think A Nest for Celeste would make a wonderful read aloud for parents and tweens. The book could also lend itself to great discussions on animals, science and what makes a home.
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