Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bear and FC Review Julie Zickefoose's New Book, "The Bluebird Effect"

Once Bear knew that I had ordered Julie Zickefoose's new book, "The Bluebird Effect, Uncommon Bonds With Common Birds", he took it upon himself to take the sentinel position, patiently watching for the UPS truck.

He never wavered in his dedication, taking only short Purina One breaks and even shorter Getrdone type walks outside until, finally the big day came.

Loud barks announced the arrival of the UPS truck a full minute before it came into view down the long curvy driveway that leads into PFHQ.

At last ...
Bear carried the package inside, as Labradors are want to do, and I took the package carefully out of his gentle mouth.

He is a bird dog after all and this book is all about ... you got that already didn't you?

At this point, there was a brief moral dilemma.
You see, the book isn't really for me ... it's a gift.

So the question, dear reader, is ... "Is it poor form to pre-read a gift book?"

I mean, suppose I wash my hands, handle each page only by the tiniest bit of corner paper, and gently, oh so gently, flip each page like it was a thin sheet of gold leaf ... if I do all that and leave no evidence that I was there ... is that okay?

Or am I faux pasing ( or in Bear's case four pawing) in a most uncivilized manner?

While Bear and I pondered this gift book dilemma, the book suddenly fell open to one of my favorite birds, one I see everyday at Cedar Key ... the osprey.

Julie's paintbrush captured a scene repeated daily at the osprey nest, atop the school lamppost.
Switch out the freshwater sucker impaled in the osprey's talons with a fat mullet, and it was a dead ringer for our schoolyard ospreys.

We had to investigate further.

Bear and I both decided that since it was a gift book, we would compromise and just read the osprey chapter ... and maybe a few bits of other chapters, but we would NOT, I repeat NOT read the whole thing before it was given to the lucky recipient.

I thought I was pretty competent on the subject of ospreys, having grown up around them and working, often only a few hundred feet from our nesting schoolyard pair.

But no.

Proximity does not equal understanding.

Julie's prose and artwork taught this teacher so much about a bird I thought I knew, and she did it in an entertaining way that makes you want to know more.

I do know teaching and that skill is what makes a good teacher.

Julie is a natural teacher.

Oh, she can hide behind being a musician, author, and artist, but she is clearly 

... a teacher.

When our little covert  book preview was over, we both agreed this book earned a five out of five tail wag rating ... (Bear handled that ).

Of course, what we wanted to do was to sit down and savor the rest of Zick's excellent book, and we will, ... AFTER the giftee has had a chance to read it, enjoy it., and then as she always does, tell me, "You need to read this great book!".

And I will.
I'm just hoping Bear can keep our little secret.

So, if you read a nature blog like Pure Florida, it's probably safe to assume you enjoy nature and reading about it.

If so, you really want this book ... and to help you get it, I'm posting a link to Julie's site.

Just click here to fall under the spell of "The Bluebird Effect".


Julie Zickefoose said...

I'm a nerd, I'm a nerd, I'm a geek but I'm the first to comment on your wonderful review with pictures of your ebonybeautiful shiny dogboy. I just got in from flying the bats (trying to trim them down from a hefty 25 gm to about 17; they're both at 21 now, hooray!) to find your post.
I'm all squidgy inside. Thank you. I hope your sweet mama likes the book and that she races through it and gets it back to you. If I had any extra copies I'd ship you one, but alas they're all spoken for and I'm hard put to get my hands on any as the first printing is sold out!
I'm going to be watching for the Pure Florida Effect. Oprah's got nuthin' on you. Made my day! which was already awesome.

Love ya, mean it,


Mary said...

Like you, Florida Cracker, I handle the book gently and read it outdoors with my feet elevated, listening to birdsong and waterfall. It is a gift, yes. It will take a while to finish reading as I read every word of hers...

Anonymous said...

Not THAT Kathy,

Whoever is the receiver will be very happy to get Julie's wonderful book, Shiny Bear kisses and all. (I still have the boxes for both of Julie's books)

Wondful post!
Kathy in Delray Beach

Floridacracker said...

Thank you for the heads up on that first "Kathy" comment. I think it was swell of you to do that.
(FYI later readers, it was a limply disguised advertisement for a male product). I am rigidly opposed to ads in my comment section, so I deleted it.
Fat bats? Who knew?
See folks, this is what I'm talking about ... the woman just came in from exercising her bats.
We look forward to "The Brownbat Effect", after you've had time to rest your muse.

Agreed! That is the only way to read this book. The BBE is really a book to savor and it is a treasure chest of excellent prose and paint for the money.
How many times do you order a book site unseen and then receive thin watery wordsmithing?
It is a solid, beautiful work of art.

Hey not THAT Kathy in Delray,
Too funny! Don't worry, I sent THAT Kathy packing.
Happy to meet another Zick fan!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Swell. Limply disguised. Rigidly opposed. Oh my gosh.
FC, you are a piece of work.

Ar Ar ar ar ar ar ar.

Aww, Kathy in Delray, you save the BOXES?? You are too cute!! See you in North Dakota! Let's do a prairie big day!!

Ms. Ferracci, your monthly check is in the mail. xxojz

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, and FC, bats are definitely making it into Letters from Eden II, which is second in the queue of books coming up. I'm itching to do a general natural history book again.

crackerboy said...

Hey, I saved the box too, JZ!

You guys have fun at New River. I'm sick that I couldn't make it! Hug the kids and Murr for me.

p.s. Great post and review, FC.

Dina J said...

You do realize you have the perfect dog? Please tell me you were holding a snack in that last picture of him. Maybe some peanut butter? That look he's giving you is priceless.

Marilyn Kircus said...

Julie's new book is totally awesome. I can't have paper books -no room in the Honda Fit and I'm homeless - so was scheming to get Malheur NWR to carry it in their gift shop. THEN I saw I could buy it for my Kindle. Oh joy. I'm doling the chapters out to myself but sometimes I just can't stop myself from reading a couple at a sitting.

Alll I can say is tell your libraries and friends that this is the must-read book of the year, decade, and perhaps century.

Floridacracker said...

LOL! Yes, let there be bats!


I do.
I have known that since I first held him as a pup.
Absolutely perfect in a Beary, Labby sorta way.
Thank you for noticing.
As for that endearing snack was involved...just the command "Watch me!"
He knows to make eye contact when I say that.

It's available on Kindle?! Sweet!

robin andrea said...

Hey, you had a Julie Zickefoose party here, and I arrived late as usual! Dang. We have the book too, and have just started looking at the beautiful art and reading those heartfelt words. Glad to see Bear is a big fan too.

roger said...

3 chapters in and loving it. good job bear.

Floridacracker said...

Robin and Roger,
So do you two have a book sharing schedule?