The Hawk of the Castle

The  Hawk of the Castle
by Danna Smith
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
published by Candlewick Press
April 2017
Nonfiction Picture Book
Ages 4 and up
ISBN-10: 0763679925
ISBN-13: 978-0763679927

Gentle verse and sweeping, majestic artwork set imaginations soaring in a handsome and illuminating ode to the ancient art of falconry.

Join a young girl and her father, the falconer at a medieval castle, as they experience the joys of taking a goshawk out for a training flight. The girl leads readers through all the preparations and equipment needed for the flight — from the hawk’s hood and bells to the falconer’s glove — culminating in a dramatic demonstration of the hawk’s hunting skill. Bagram Ibatoulline’s masterful illustrations capture the vivid details and beauty of a day spent hawking, while Danna Smith’s poetic storytelling will make readers long to experience the art and sport of falconry firsthand.


An imaginative and unique title to introduce elementary schoolers to hawks and falconry in a medieval setting—an ideal read-aloud selection, too.

school library journal starred review

  • Starred Review School Library Journal
  • Starred Review Publishers Weekly
  • 2018 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • 2018 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People from The National Council for Social Studies and  The Children’s Book Council.
  • Imagination Soup’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2017
  • Chicago Public Library’s list of Best Informational Books For Younger Readers
  • 2017 Rhyme Revolution’s Top 20 rhyming picture books

Download Activity Guide

Kids will have fun testing their falconry knowledge after reading The Hawk of the Castle with this comprehension question and answer activity.

Gentle verse and sweeping, majestic artwork —an ode to the ancient art of falconry. Check out this amazing children’s book!