I Dreamed of Flying Like a Bird by Robert B. Haas

idreamed_main1Lynn: In I Dreamed of Flying Like a Bird:  My Adventures Photographing Wild Animals from a Helicopter (National Geographic 2010) the subtitle says it all.  Veteran photographer Haas writes about his fascinating and dangerous job photographing wildlife from small planes and helicopters.  Each page turn yields another unique and beautiful photograph with commentary by Haas about how he captured the images from the air.  Patterns and movement stand out so clearly in the photographs taken over countries and even oceans all over the world.  Don’t expect lists of facts for animal research reports but do expect an unusual visual treat.  Put this on display and watch it capture readers too.

Cindy: It’s always interesting to look at a subject from another perspective, and the aerial views here are instructive in different ways from traditional animal books. The images of dust clouds rising from stampeding buffalo, a crocodile with bloody prey in its jaws slipping back into the swamp, and brown bears emerging from hibernation to catch their first salmon of the spring robert-haas-flamingosare all visually gorgeous, but the amazing photo Haas captured of flamingos gathered in shallow waters in the shape of a flamingo is truly stunning. Certainly Lynn is right that this is not a “report” book, but there is ample valuable information presented in the text that accompanies the photographs, including warnings about human impact on the natural world and its animal inhabitants. Many of the species included in the book are endangered so it is a relief that Robert B. Haas is hunting them with a camera rather than something more lethal. A note on the cover even promises that the author proceeds from the book will be donated to the Humane Society of the United States.

I even enjoyed the dedication in this book: “…dedicated to all dreamers….chasing our dreams is the thing that shows we appreciate the privilege of being alive.” Haas said as a kid he wanted to fly like a bird, and now, hanging out of a door-less helicopter, secured by two safety lines, and camera in hand, he is doing just that. Awesome.

nonfiction_mondayCheck out the Nonfiction Monday Blog Roundup at Books Together this week for more great nonfiction reading.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

3 Comments on "I Dreamed of Flying Like a Bird by Robert B. Haas"

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  1. parrot chat | February 10, 2012
  1. This is a wonderful book! Just the photo of the flamingo-shaped flamingos makes it worth reading! A good book to pair with this one is National Geographic Kids Great Migrations: Whales, wildebeests, butterflies, elephants and other amazing animals on the move. http://www.worldcat.org/title/great-migrations-whales-wildebeests-butterflies-elephants-and-other-amazing-animals-on-the-move/oclc/502029854&referer=brief_results

  2. elibenoli5@gmail.com' Tara says:

    The pictures look stunning – I can’t wait to see this book “in person”.

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