Those unfamiliar with the title Pale Male will only wonder what on earth it might be about. Authored by Janet Shulman, the book may surprise some when they hear it is about a red-tailed hawk living in the bustling city of New York. He decides to stick around and what’s more, finds a mate and the two create a nest together and raise chicks.
Meilo So’s watercolors bleed together in the most dazzling way. Sharp focus is paid to Pale Male’s eyes and certain details to his feathers, and yet other places are swept with the brush to offer a soft look to his wings. The sky around him melds together in a wash of greens and oranges. And that’s just the cover! Kids will stare in awe at the wonderful pictures and watch as the hawk makes a nest and lives in New York
To be sure, Pale Male is the actual name of the hawk and the story is based upon a true one. This isn’t the first time he’s shown up in children’s books and it may not be the last. The story of New York’s famous hawk will entrance readers, even more so if they are already lovers of nature. Children may also come to realize how humans and animals can live together even when something as huge as a city is involved. Whatever they may learn, they’re sure to enjoy watching the hawks soar over the skyscrapers and raise what becomes an astounding number of chicks.