Books written and illustrated by Bruce Hiscock
Ookpik-The Travels of a Snowy Owl,
Written and illustrated by Bruce Hiscock (Boyds Mills Press 2008). Owls are sometimes pictured
as the companions of wizards in folk tales. In this picture book we will learn about the first year in the life of a Snowy owl. Snowy
owls are true birds of the Arctic. Ookpik, which means snowy owl in the native language, is born on Baffin Island, in northern Canada.
It is a year when the lemming population has "crashed", leaving little food for the winter. Facing starvation, young owl flies south,
over trees, and cities, to spend the winter in the fields of northern New York State. Based on factual evidence, this book depicts
the struggles and lessons of survival of a bird in the wild.
Wings of Light- The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly
, by Stephen R. Swinburne, Illustrated by Bruce Hiscock (Boyds Mills Press 2006).
In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico a yellow butterfly with a notch in its wing begins a long and dangerous migration. Along with thousands
of other yellow butterflies, it crosses the Gulf of Mexico. The butterflies make their way up the East Coast of the United States,
passing the ponies of Assateague Island and resting in Central Park in New York City. Finally the notched wing butterfly reaches Vermont,
where it meets a female, breeds, and the cycle of life is renewed.
Turtle Tide-The Ways of Sea Turtles,
by Stephen R. Swinburne, Illustrated by Bruce Hiscock (Boyds Mills Press 2005). This is a picture
book in which we meet the magnificent loggerhead turtle as she makes her way to the beach intent on laying her eggs. After 100 eggs
are buried in the sand, there is trouble right away when raccoons raid the nest. Later, when the remaining little turtles hatch, they
must make a perilous journey across the sand to the ocean. On the way, crabs, birds, and a huge shark gobble up what they can. Do
any hatchlings survive? Read this exciting narrative and find out.
The Big Caribou Herd- Life in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
(Boyds Mills Press 2003) This picture book follows the migration
of the great Porcupine Caribou Herd as they cross the mountains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to reach their calving ground
on the coastal plane. Along the way the herd encounters wolves, grizzly bears, snowy owls, musk oxen, wolverines, and other animals
that live in this far northern part of Alaska. Additional facts about each animal and this magnificent Refuge are included at the
Coyote and Badger- Desert Hunters of the Southwest
(Boyds Mills Press 2001) This is a picture book about the relationship of these
two predators, and how they hunt cooperatively in the desert. It is a fictionalized natural history based primarily on things I actually
observed. The book is set in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico in the time of a severe drought. In such times the two animals will join together
and use their combined skills, Coyote as a fast runner, and Badger a great digger, to hunt ground squirrels and other prey. The watercolor
illustrations depict many petroglyphs and pottery pieces left by the Anasazi in addition to the animals and plants of the desert.
The Big Tree (Atheneum, 1991, Boyds Mill Press, 1999) This is the story of a huge sugar maple in my neighbor's yard that was just
a sprout at the time of the American Revolution. As the years pass we watch the tree grow and learn about photosynthesis and the life
of trees. Woven into the tale are facts about history and how to make maple syrup. The Big Tree has always been one of my most popular
The Big Rivers The Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Ohio (Atheneum, 1997), is a picture book set in the heartland of America. The
book follows the story of the Great Flood of 1993 on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. As the water rises, we read about how rivers
work, the water cycle, drainage basins, and how people strive to keep the river in check. Readers report a possible Elvis sighting
amid the many facts and faces.
When Will It Snow?(Atheneum, 1995). All the North Country is waiting for winter to begin. Especially Robin, who rushes to the window
each morning to see if the old meadow is cover in white. This picture book, set in my town, is a fictional story, but all the animals
are real. Follow along with the three-legged fox, the snowshoe hare, and the mouse, as they too, await the first snow.
The Big Storm(Atheneum, 1993, Boyds Mill Press, 2008) is a picture book about weather and geography. In the spring of 1982 a huge
storm swept across the USA. The storm triggered avalanches in the mountains, tornadoes in the Midwest, and rain, snow, and hail elsewhere.
All of these weather phenomena are explained with descriptions and diagrams, as this devastating storm travels from coast to coast.
The Big Rock(Atheneum, 1988) is a geology picture book for grade school students. It describes how this chunk of granite was formed
a billion years ago, and with help from glaciers, wound up in my woods. A time line helps readers understand the huge span of years
that is geologic time.
Tundra: The Arctic Land(Atheneum, 1986) A chapter book that describes the far north, and the plants and animals that live there. Much
of the book deals with of how living things survive in the cold, but there is a narrative theme as well. My primary research for Tundra
was a long canoe trip in the barrenlands of northern Canada, and that story adds my personal perspective to many pages
Armadillo Trail -The Northward Journey of the Armadillo, by Stephen R. Swinburne, Illustrated by Bruce Hiscock (Boyds Mills Press
2009). Here we follow one of the strangest animals in North America, the nine banded armadillo, as it walks north out of Texas and
into the Oklahoma panhandle. Can armadillos swim? How many offspring do they have? How do they protect themselves from cars and predators?
Learn all this and much more as we journey along the Armadillo Trail.
Books Written and Illustrated by Bruce Hiscock
I live close to nature and write about the things I see both in my woods and in my travels
all over North America. The series of books with Big in the title are non-fiction stories and extensively researched. Adults as well
as kids find them informative and fun. Click on the covers to get the inside story on each book.