This is not what you’d call a great field guide for identifying birds. Its illustrations are badly drawn, and its text is full of biases and affectations. You should keep that in mind while reading. But if you’re interested in provocative stories about Icelandic birds’ inclination for endangerment, penchant for pageantry, and addiction to amatory adventures – not to mention all their quirks of character and personal peccadillos – well then: this is the book for you.
Fun-loving Hjörleifur Hjartarson and Rán Flygenring give readers a bird’s–eye view of the most prominent characteristics of every Icelandic bird in word and image, and, thankfully, never take themselves too seriously in the process. The result is a unique, unusual, but nevertheless informative encyclopedia of Icelandic birds.
Hjörleifur Hjartarson has a B.Ed. in education and has also worked as an author, translator, and musician alongside his job as a teacher. He’s written a variety of exhibition notes and explanatory texts for both museums and theatres. It was one such exhibition project that lead him into the world of Icelandic birds, which have fluttered around him ever since.
Rán Flygenring is an illustrator and designer. Her projects have been varied: she’s illustrated books and blogs, doodled on walls and stamps and created unique images for events ranging from beer festivals to science conferences. Rán calls no one place home and would, without a doubt, be classified as a migratory bird.
Larissa Kyzer translated.