Circle, a book review


Title: Circle
by: Jeannie Baker
Publisher: Walker Books

‘In a place where mud and sand become sea,
a godwit with white wing patches flies up with his flock.
The moment is right for the long journey north.’

A boy lies on his bed, a wheelchair beside him. His only wish is to fly. His mother wheels him to the beach, where the mud and sea become sand, and with his binoculars, he observes a flock of godwits.

One particular godwit with white wing patches catches his eye, and we leave the boy on the beach and follow the godwit on the long journey north, following an ancient invisible pathway. The journey is not all smooth going as the birds discover that their usual landscape has changed into a human-scape concrete jungle of buildings and roads, and they are forced to find another place to refuel before they take flight again toward their northerly destination.

There, the godwit with white wing patches finds a mate, and soon they have four perfect eggs, and then four newly hatched chicks until the hungry fox appears. Only one chick survives by disappearing into the colours of the land…


The days grow cold and finding food is harder. The time is right, and the flock of godwits leave as one, following an ancient invisible pathway high above the clouds back to the place where mud and sand become sea. A boy chases a dog on the beach, his crutches left on the sand. He still has one wish, and that is to fly.

Circle, written and illustrated by Jeannie Baker, is a feast of visual colour and art that is graced with her distinctive illustrating style of genius. Her story flows like the gentle movement of a bird’s wings and glides with smoothness and peace, filling the reader with wonder at how godwits continue to follow the ancient visible pathway, generation after generation, even as their landmarks disappear in our ever changing world. The Author’s Note and Godwit Migration Map are valuable additions at the end of the book, and feed hungry minds of those who want to know more about these amazing birds that make the longest unbroken journey of any animal in the world.

Format: Hardback
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 24 May 2016
Pages: 48
For Ages: 8 – 12 years
ISBN: 978-1-4063-3801-0


Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
for CKT Book Reviews

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