June 16 – 22, 2023Vol. 25, No. 1

The Lake Where Loon Lives

by Martha F. Barkley

The Lake Where Loon Lives is a whimsically, brightly drawn children’s book by Maine author Brenda Reeves Sturgis. Also, it is illustrated by a Maine artist, Brook Carlton, who lives in a woodsy part of the Pine Tree State. Sturgis, the author, lives on a quiet lake. All three of her children’s books are available from Maine to Florida in our grand public library system.

How do I know this? My Charleston, SC public library borrowed them through interlibrary loan and the loon book arrived from the Tampa-Hillsborough area. I forget now where the 10 Turkeys in the Road came from over a month ago. No Fun in the Sun for Santa is her third title to read, sounds like the sunny south in December…

Although the loon drawings are not beautiful to my eye, kids will love the fancy hat worn by Mother Loon and cartoon like animals throughout this "House That Jack Built" repetitive rhyming story. Even some possibly new science to learn about loons and other lake wildlife.

I simply love the Good Night ending for a sleepy book at bedtime:

But the boy, the fish, and the fly go away,
and Loon is content at the end of the day,
watching her chicks, not making a peep,
snuggled by feathers and ready for sleep,
in wings that cuddle and tuck in tight
as Loon wails out to all…Good night!
Here on the lake where Loon lives.

Chris Van Duden, author and illustrator of The Circus Ship, made me stop and remember his great Maine island tale when I read the back cover blurb about The Lake Where the Loon Lives. Strong stories, both, but very different. Take a dive into a good children’s book. Take a deep dive into the lake with your kids, enjoy together reading and swimming and splashing.

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