It's hard not to be in love with a pair of hawks that are willing to become our neighbors in the city... and in her version of the Pale Male saga, City Hawk, The Story of Pale Male, Meghan McCarthy chooses to ignore the fact that some neighbors might not like a) birds pooping on their windows, or b) hundreds of binoculars focused daily in the direction of their living rooms.
McCarthy does explain the controversy, and many details about the hawks in an extensive Author's Note (there is also a separate author's note about Central Park), but her story is really about the excitement and joy of watching nature in the city. Whereas the other books start from the hawk's POV, McCarthy begins with the people, taking us from the noisy, crowded polluted streets, to the lush escape of Central Park. We then watch -- just like birdwatchers -- as the hawks explore the park, make their nest and start a family.
I admit that I am a little in love with the gigantic bug eyes McCarthy gives her characters (human and avian), her illustrations are cheerful and everyone looks to be enjoying themselves. She illustrates various city vistas, and although there are numerous views of the sky, she brings us back down to earth, where we humans live, quite often.
It certainly qualifies as an uplifting tale (no pun intended!).
Visit the author's website.
Read all my reviews of Pale Male books.
Visit Central Park.
Gothamist posted a video of Pale Male's new mate.
Big Kid says: You know, lots of other birds also live on rooftops, like sparrows and finches.
Little Kids says: Park book, please.