Escaping persecution for being Jewish, the Baline family fled Russia and arrived by ship in New York City harbor in September 1893. Little Israel Isidore Baline is only five years old. After arriving at Ellis Island, the first stop for all immigrants, Israel and his family are ready to begin a new life in America. His family settles in the Lower East Side and soon Israel (now nicknamed Izzy) starts school. And while he learns English, he is not a very good student. According to his teachers he daydreams and sings in class. But while these may not be traits that are helpful in the classroom, these are wonderful tools for a budding singer and composer. And by the time that Izzy (now known as Irving) is a young man, he is well on his way to becoming one of the most well-known composers in America. This vivid picture-book biography examines the life of Irving Berlin, the distinguished artist whose songs, including "God Bless America," continue to be popular today.
From the Author (Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen): "For twenty years we have rehabilitated a wide variety of wild critters, from fawns, foxes, skunks, and crows to opposums, raccoons, rabbits, and owls. Some of the animals were injured adults, others were orphaned babies, but all of them were in need of a little help to get them back into the wild. Growing up on a farm, as well as my training as an animal technician, prepared me for many of the medical situations that arose. Gijsbert took every opportunity to sketch, paint, and photograph our temporary guests during their stay on the farm. More importantly, Gijsbert was issued all the Federal and State permits needed to care for birds of prey. Without these permits, we would never have been able to care for hawks and owls. For good reason, caring for these birds is very tightly regulated and closely monitored. Taking an owl from its nest is dangerous and illegal. We have cared for many Great Horned Owls but none of them were like Jackson, the owl in this story. His personality was unique from the very beginning and we know that we were lucky to have shared such a close bond with this wild bird. This is the true story of his life with us. Enjoy." With illustrations from Gjisbert (Nick) van Frankenhuyzen, noted wildlife artist and illustrator of our Legends series as well as The Blue Spruce by Mario Cuomo and L is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet.