Third “Wildlife on the Move” kids’ book is exceptional

a blandings turtlestory

The third book in a “Wildlife on the Move” partnership between Islandport Press and Maine Audubon is wonderful. A Blanding’s Turtle Story, written by Melissa Kim and illustrated by Jada Fitch, will capture the imagination of your kids,  grandkids, and you too!

Jada’s illustrations are captivating, for sure, and the turtle tale told by Melissa is both educational and charming. You may know that Blanding’s Turtles are on our endangered list, and among other things, this book will propel you to do what you can to protect and save them.

Forty years ago I ran over every snapping turtle I saw along the road, laying its eggs. I didn’t like the fact that they eat baby ducks and loons. But eventually I got educated, and I think I made up for my stupidity a bit when, coming home late at night, I found the small bridge near my house covered in baby turtles. Many had been run over. But I searched for each baby turtle that was alive, picked it up, and escorted it across the road and to the stream. Jada’s illustration of a bunch of baby turtles brought back those memories.

The other two books in this series, both written by Melissa and illustrated by Jada, and also terrific.

Snowy Owl Story Islandport photo

The staring eyes of a Snowy Owl on the cover of A Snowy Owl Story, will grab you.  Well, they certainly grabbed my two-year-old granddaughter!  A Snowy Owl Story is based on a true story of an owl’s journey from the Arctic to Portland, Maine. I only wish the owl had stopped in Mount Vernon! Actually, we’ve seen Snowy Owls in our area, as these amazing birds have moved south into Maine in pretty good numbers.

I don’t want to give the entire story away, but the book’s owl was captured in Portland, transferred to wildlife rehabilitators at Avian Haven in Freedom, and released the following day near Rockland.

A Little Brown Bat Story

The second book in the series, A Little Brown Bat Story, tells the sad story of the demise of our brown bats. We used to have many at our house, and I often killed them, until learned to do better, and began capturing them in a fishing net and releasing them outside. Sadly, we haven’t seen a brown bat at our house for many years.

The “Wildlife on the Move” series brings engaging stories about wildlife migration, conservation and respectful human interaction with nature to a Pre-K through second grade audience. Melissa Kim is working with Audubon naturalists to create scientifically accurate stories.

“Most books for the pre-K audience are very basic natural history books that simply recite facts about animals” says Melissa. “These books tell stories about specific wildlife, how and why they move and what role people can play in their lives. I’ve not seen board books like this before and am honored to be part of this unique partnership to help introduce young people to important wildlife conservation concepts.”

What a great idea!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.