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Who's in Maxine's Tree
By author: Diane Carmel L├ęger   Illustrated by: Darlene Gait
Selling Points: Endangered birds, Walbran Valley, survival
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Mar/01/2006
Pages: 32
Picture Book
Price:  $17.95
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"My name is Stephanie. I'm a tree-climber," the woman said. "I'm researching mamu nests."
"What's a mamu?" asked Maxine.
"Its real name is marbled murrelet, but I like to call it mamu. It's an endangered seabird."
"Why are you looking for seabird nests in the forest?" Maxine asked.
"Because this is where mamus nest, deep in old growth forest." The woman looked at the sign in the roots of the tree.
"Are you Maxine?" she said. Maxine did not answer. She had a question of her own, a very important one. "What do they ... the mamu ... sound like?"
The woman opened her mouth and stretched her lips. "Keer, keer," she said.
Maxine smiled. "That's the sound that my tree calls to me." she said.

Maxine loves her giant tree in the Walbran Valley, but as she gazes at clearcuts from the car window, she worries. What if her tree is gone? Her family and friends trek through the old growth forest, and Maxine runs on ahead to check. Yes, her tree is there. She stands at its foot and listens, but it doesn't make its special sound, "Keer, keer." She will soon learn that "Keer, keer" is the sound a marbled murrelet (a mamu) makes. The mamu is an endangered seabird that flies far from the sea to nest in the high flat branches of the Sitka spruce. When a tree-climber confirms the presence of a mamu nest, Maxine's tree will be safe forever.
by: Genevieve Valleau, CM Magazine - March 3, 2006
"The book displays a heart-felt deep-rooted concern for the environment...(it would) work well in a lesson the classroom concerning the rain forest, clear-cutting and the struggle in the early 1990s to preserve the old growth forest..."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2006

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Grades K-3
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