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Sparrow Jack

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A lively twist on the immigrant story

When John Bardsley leaves England to seek his fortune in America, he finds that his new city, Philadelphia, is crawling with inchworms! No one seems to know how to get rid of them, and the American birds turn up their beaks at the thought of eating any. Recalling his rescue of a very hungry baby sparrow when he was a boy, John comes up
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is loosely biographical. Okay, it has talking sparrows, but the basic bones of the story are factual. And it's an interesting story. Introduced species are science curriculum and this reveals an intentional introduction that actually had a positive effect. Now, I don't know if there weren't eventual negative consequences of bringing sparrows to America, but at least this one started out well. The story is pretty good. I could have done without the talking bird interlude in the middle, but I ...more
This is the story of a different kind of immigrant coming to America. When the people of Philadelphia had a problem with inchworms eating the tender bushes and leaves of trees, John Bardsly remembered his feathered friends back home in England who would eat anything including inchworms. When he sailed to England and brought back 1000 house sparrows, he was hailed a hero for solving the dilemma of the inchworm.

Used for "Feathered Friends" storytime-October, 2009
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting almost-biography (I'm sure some liberties were taken in the name of storytelling) about the man who brought English sparrows to the U.S. to eat the inchworms. It's presented as a good thing, but I'm curious about the other repercussions. Did the sparrows further disrupt a different part of the ecosystem? This would be useful in a unit about biology, native animals, and food chains.
Apr 20, 2010 added it
Shelves: el-ed-340
Picture Book
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The story how English Sparrows came to America. I could read this one to classes.
So that's how English sparrows got to the US.
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Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, winner of the Caldecott Medal, and has had four books named New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. Gerstein was born in Los Angeles in 1935. He remembers being inspired as a child by images of fine art, which his mother cut out of Life magazine, and by children’s books from the library: “I looked ...more
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