Written by Jill Esbaum, Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
Calkins Creek (2024)
Gene Stratton-Porter was a farm girl who fell in love with birds, from the chickens whose eggs she collected to the hawks that preyed on them. When she grew up, Gene wanted nothing more than to share her love of birds with the world. She wrote stories about birds, but when a magazine wanted to publish them next to awkward photos of stuffed birds, she knew she had to take matters into her own hands. Teaching herself photography, Gene began to take photos of birds in the wild. Her knowledge of birds and how to approach them allowed her to get so close you could count the feathers of the birds in her photos.
Her work was unlike anything Americans had ever seen before – she captured the true lives of animals in their natural habitat. A pioneering wildlife photographer and one of the most popular authors of the early 20th century, this bird girl showed the world the beauty of nature and why it was worth preserving.