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A Sparrow's Life's as Sweet as Ours is a compilation of articles first published as Bird of the Month columns in The Oldie magazine. In this sumptuous new art book, renowned wildlife artist Carry Akroyd presents a sequence of screenprints of birds full of variety and colour that illustrate British birds in all four seasons of the year. These beautiful prints give full rein to Carry's knowledge of wildflowers, trees and the modern landscape of Britain, including its wind turbines and passing aeroplanes. And what shines out of Carry's dynamic designs is her deft capturing of each bird's characteristics set beautifully in relation to its habitat.
John McEwen's accompanying text is written with elegance and concision, and his columns have been updated where required to keep abreast of the latest research and reports. John's light, eclectic approach connects snippets of ornithology, history, etymology and cookery, all expressed with wit and knowledge. His writing is spiced with poetry – from Chaucer to the present – as well as facts and stories, while personal and other anecdotes are also included to inform and, above all, entertain the reader.
Carry Akroyd is an artist and printmaker who lives on the edge of the Fens. Her work is dominated by British landscapes and wildlife. Her prints are created using screen print, linocut and wood engravings. Carry's work has been shown in many publications, and she has been commissioned to create original art for numerous book covers. Carry is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and the current president of the John Clare Society. She has two books published of her landscape painting and original printmaking, which she exhibits irregularly. In 2017, Carry won the Society of Wildlife Artists' inaugural Terravesta Art Prize.
John McEwen grew up in the Scottish Borders where his love of birds and art were formed in his artist brother's studio. John's journalistic career focusses on the visual arts. He was the arts editor of The Field magazine in the 1980s and, in 1992, he was one of the founders of The Oldie magazine. He approached Richard Ingrams with the idea of writing an illustrated bird column for the magazine, which became known as the Bird of the Month column. John still writes for The Oldie and also writes regularly for Country Life, and formerly for The Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph.
"[...] This book would be equally suited to bird-watchers who appreciate the scientific and artistic value of birds, as well as to non-birders, who will be transported into the fascinating world of ornithology through the accessible but informative text and the superb artwork."
– Daria Dadam, BTO book reviews