All Eyes on Alexandra
Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting and distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group? And might Alexandra discover that a bad follower can make a great leader?
|Interest Level||Preschool - Grade 2|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Genre||Fiction, Picture Books|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||32|
“The Crane family wonders what to do with Alexandra Crane. She doesn’t follow in formation. She doesn’t march correctly. Instead, she likes to explore and flirt with danger. Saba Crane goes along with her and begins to understand Alexandra’s strengths. He sees that she correctly senses climate, winds, and threats. As the flock begins the winter’s migratory journey to Israel, Saba recommends that Alexandra take a turn at leading them. She may not follow, but she can certainly lead. She guides the family to many points in Israel before landing in the Hula Valley. This beautifully illustrated and well-paced picture book has so many wonderful layers. On one level, it is the story of a girl who doesn’t quite fit in. On another level, it is the story of migratory birds. On yet a third level, it is the story of geography. The text and illustrations provide every indication of this book becoming a young reader’s favorite that can be read over and over again.”—Association of Jewish Libraries
“Readers learn some nature facts as they follow intrepid Alexandra Crane and her feathered companions on a migratory trip to Israel. The art is captivating: representational, tempera-and-colored-pencil images that include a thin stripe of red ink to outline each graceful crane. Every illustration is a beautiful complement to the text, whether showing international city skylines, vivid natural wonders, a brightly painted cable car, or a threatening eagle. The simple plot’s protagonist is identifiable from the rest by what appears to be a thin, bright-red ribbon adorning her neck. The text begins with this bold-lettered sentence: “Alexandra Crane had her head in the clouds.” Several members of Alexandra’s immediate and extended family express concerns over the young female’s tendency to favor adventure over regimen. However, right after this discussion, Alexandra sniffs the air and reports that she smells snow. The Crane family cheers when the older Saba Crane agrees that this is the signal for the birds to begin their annual flight to Africa, via Israel. The text uses gentle humor as it describes the flock’s preparatory preening. During the trip, family members continue to express concerns over Alexandra’s adventurous nature, and her intelligence and curiosity continue to help the flock. The ending, although sweet, is a flat repetition of the oft-repeated theme. Nonetheless, graceful text and exquisite artwork combine to create an appealing book. A good choice before nap time or bedtime or as a complement to units on migration. (author’s note about Israel’s Hula Valley) (Picture book. 3-6)" – Kirkus Reviews
Chicago Jewish Star
“Ima and Abba Crane (as in birds) can’t keep young Alexandra Crane in line, in All Eyes On Alexandra by Anna Levine, illustrated by Chiara Pasqualotto. She’s curious and likes to explore. But winter is coming, and she will need to stay in the “V” formation as they follow their migratory route to Israel. Literally millions of birds from hundreds of species stop in Israel om their way to and from Europe, Asia, and Africa, resting and refueling in the Hula Valley. This is a lovely story, with softly drawn and colored illustrations for ages 3 to 8, offering a wonderful introduction to bird migration and the vital part Israel plays." – Chicago Jewish Star
Author: Anna Levine
Anna Levine is the author of several picture books and two young adult novels, all of which take place in Israel. She lives in Mevesseret Zion, just outside of Jerusalem.
Illustrator: Chiara Pasqualotto
Chiara Pasqualotto lives in Rome, Italy. She works in tempera and colored pencil, and has begun experimenting with printmaking. Animals are her favorite subjects for illustrations. She teaches drawing to children and adults.