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  • Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City
  • Written by Janet Schulman
    Illustrated by Meilo So
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780375845581
  • Our Price: $16.99
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Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City

Written by Janet SchulmanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Janet Schulman
Illustrated by Meilo SoAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Meilo So

Pale Male:  Citizen Hawk of New York City Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE & AWARDS PRAISE & AWARDS
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis

Synopsis

The birdwatchers of Central Park were buzzing–a young red-tailed hawk had been spotted, would he stay? The bird they dubbed Pale Male not only stayed, he became one of New York City’s most famous residents. Pale Male and his mate built their nest near the top of one of Fifth Avenue’s swankiest apartment buildings. Nine years and 23 chicks later, Pale Male’s fame had grown so large that a CBS newsman named him Father of the Year! But Pale Male was less beloved by the residents of the building, and in 2004 the owners suddenly removed the nest–setting off an international outcry on behalf of the birds.
Janet Schulman|Meilo So

About Janet Schulman

Janet Schulman - Pale Male:  Citizen Hawk of New York City
Janet Schulman is the editor of The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury. She has worked in children’s book publishing as an editor and an author for more than 40 years. She also compiled a follow-up anthology of classic stories of the 20th century, You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You. She lives in New York City


Meilo So is the award-winning illustrator of The 20th-Century Children’s Poetry Treasury, The Beauty of the Beast, Tasty Baby Belly Buttons, and It’s Simple, Said Simon.

About Meilo So

Meilo So - Pale Male:  Citizen Hawk of New York City
Meilo So has illustrated several award-winning books, including Tasty Baby Belly Buttons, by Judy Sierra; It’s Simple, Said Simon, by Mary Ann Hoberman; The Ugly Duckling, retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland; and Countdown to Spring!, by Janet Schulman. Meilo So was born in Hong Kong and lives in England with her
husband and daughter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I have always made narrative into pictures . . .

I have been drawing from about the time I was five years old. My grandfather had a mannequin shop; I used to watch him painting eyes and lips on the models. I have always made narrative into pictures. My first children’s book was published in Hong Kong in 1987. I wrote the story; it was about a naughty angel with three black spots on her
face. It was semi-autobiographical.

I try to keep my life simple and I choose a simple, light-weight medium . . .

I enjoy using acrylics and recently gouache (as in Countdown to Spring!). I prefer a medium that you can make corrections with. My favorite is simple black-and-white drawings. I haven’t lived all over the world, but I have traveled a little bit, and it has influenced me to carry fewer and fewer tools with me when it comes to work, and I think a lot more in my head.

I like to write and illustrate books, whether they are for adults or children . . .

I like to write and illustrate books, whether they are for adults or children. I like the story to be kind and optimistic. I enjoy painting domestic settings.

Since the birth of my daughter I am now more attracted to bold and simple illustrations . . .

My work is also influenced by a Chinese artist named Feng Tse Kai, who worked in the 1930s to 1960s. His simple brush drawings about children, childhood, wars, ordinary people—they are very touching images, but not sentimental. I also admire Ben Shann’s work a great deal.

The whole working process flowed nicely . . .
I enjoyed illustrating The Beauty of the Beast. It is one of those projects that you know is going to look good. The whole working process flowed nicely.


PRAISE

THE BEAUTY OF THE BEAST
Poems from the Animal Kingdom

—An ALA Notable Book

“Meilo So does enchantingly unreal paintings: whimsical watercolors made with a wet-on-wet technique that reserves the spontaneity of her hand gestures. In very few brush strokes, she captures the essence of organisms from stallions to sea horses. Yet the images themselves are abstract, almost calligraphic pictograms.”—The New York Times Book Review
Praise | Awards

Praise

Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2008:
"From the eye-catching endpapers ... to the energetic city scenes, readers experience New Yorkers’ excitement about Pale Male ... and understand why his story has captured the interest of so many people."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, January 28, 2008:
"[T]his version stands out for its urbane, reportorial prose and stylish watercolors ... by the final page, even readers who live far from Manhattan will appreciate that Pale Male's significance and stature rise well beyond those of media darling."

Starred Review, Booklist, February 15, 2008:
" Beautiful contrasting views of the bird soaring above the wild park and the forest of the skyscrapers will ignite children's curiosity in both urban animals and the caring people who help protect them."

Starred Review, Horn Book, March/April 2008:
“This third recent picture book about the red-tailed hawks that have nested on a posh building across from Central Park since the 1990s is the best so far.”

Review, New York Times Book Review, June 1, 2008:
"[Schulman's] language is sophisticated and wry . . . [and] the watercolor illustrations, by Meilo So, are luminous."

Awards

WINNER 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Book
WINNER 2008 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
WINNER 2008 Horn Book Fanfare
NOMINEE Indiana Young Hoosier Award
WINNER Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
WINNER ALA Notable Children's Book
NOMINEE Rhode Island Children's Book Award
NOMINEE Maine Student Book Award
WINNER Texas Bluebonnet Master List
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



ABOUT THIS BOOK

The birdwatchers of Central Park were buzzing—a young red-tailed hawk had been spotted. Would he stay? The bird they dubbed Pale Male not only stayed, he became one of New York City’s most famous residents. Pale Male and his mate built their nest near the top of one of Fifth Avenue’s swankiest apartment buildings. Nine years and 23 chicks later, Pale Male’s fame had grown so large that a CBS newsman named him Father of the Year! But Pale Male was less beloved by the residents of the building, and in 2004 the owners suddenly removed the nest—setting off an international outcry on behalf of the birds.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Janet Schulman is the editor of The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury. She has worked in children’s book publishing as an editor and an author for more than 40 years. She also compiled a follow-up anthology of classic stories of the 20th century, You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You. She lives in New York City.

Meilo So
is the award-winning illustrator of The 20th-Century Children’s Poetry Treasury, The Beauty of the Beast, Tasty Baby Belly Buttons, and It’s Simple, Said Simon.

TEACHING IDEAS

• Ask the class: Have you ever noticed the birds that live around your home? Do you know what types of birds are native to your area? What types of things do birds do?

• Have students fill out the first two sections of the KWL chart before reading the story.

What I KNOW about red-tailed hawks:
What I WANT to know:
What I LEARNED:

• As a class, brainstorm a list of verbs inspired by what birds do. Examples: swoop, peck, build.

DISCUSSION AND WRITING

1. What is in the center of New York City? Why was it a good place for a red-tailed hawk and other birds?

2. How did Pale Male get his name? How else is he different than other birds of his kind?

3. What happens to Pale Male’s first mate and the nests they built together?

4. Describe where Pale Male and his new mate move to the following year. Why is 927 Fifth Avenue a good address for both New Yorkers and hawks?

5. Explain why the people in the building don’t appreciate the hawks’ nest on their building. What do they do about it?

6. Discuss how the hawks have become like celebrities to the people of New York. What does it mean to be a celebrity? Would you like to have this much attention? Do you think the birds mind it?

7. List the steps the young chicks have to take to learn to fly and feed themselves. How does their father help?

8. How do Pale Male and his nest become evicted from the Fifth Avenue building? How do the people of the city (and the whole world) react to this? What is the result?

9. Which illustration is your favorite? Why? How do the illustrations tell you things about Pale Male that the words do not?

10. What can you learn from the story of Pale Male? How can you impact the environment in your own neighborhood? How can you help your neighbor birds?

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Vocabulary/Use of Language
As students read Pale Male, have them define the following words using the context clues (or how they are used in the story) to figure out what they mean. Then have them write sentences of their own using the words.

skyscraper
wingspan
terrorizing
thrived
courting
undaunted
ornate
elements
evicted
stern
substantial
perseverance
fledgling
abandoned
renovate
migratory
cradle
teeming

Music
Sing this first verse about Pale Male to the tune of “Have you ever seen a butterfly?” Then compose a class verse to follow this one!

Have you ever seen Pale Male?
Pale Male?
Pale Male?
Have you ever seen Pale Male as he wings on by?

Art
Meilo So plays a great deal with perspective in Pale Male. Explain to students how the view she uses changes to show the reader a different way of looking at the topic. Share the illustrations from the top of the building down, from the street level up, from tree height, and from other interesting angles. Have students sketch the same natural subject (perhaps a bird in your own neighborhood) from a variety of angles (or perspectives) using the reproducible activity sheet below. They can add color, and even try watercolors as Meilo So does in the book.

Science
Have students choose another bird of interest and research it in the library and on the Internet. Reproduce the activity sheet below and have them fill in the graphic organizer with information on the bird’s natural habitat, food, enemies, and other interesting facts.

Post-Reading Activity
Revisit the KWL chart and have students fill in what they’ve learned from Pale Male in the third section. Ask for volunteers to share what they’ve found most interesting about the book.

Download a PDF of the Teacher's Guide

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