Top Gun of the Sky & Dusk Until Dawn by Martin Bradley | Paperback | 2013 & 2014 | ISBN: 9780954279127 & 9780954879134 |

Guest Reviewer: Ashley Beolens of

2 Books one review (they are small books after all) – these two books created with the Hawk Conservancy Trust by Martin Bradley are an interesting leap into children’s books with a distinct wild life edge, Dusk until Dawn is all about Barn Owls and Top Gun of the Sky is all about Peregrine Falcons.

Dusk Until Dawn

We’ll start by looking at the second book, all about Barn Owls, the main gist of the book is a lovely child-friendly poem all about owls and their habitat, life etc.

punctuated with interesting facts (aimed at the adult to read to the child), there is an excellent game throughout where your child (and you) can hunt for vole (a vole hidden on each page), my (five-year-old) daughter loved this when I asked her what she liked her response was “well.. I liked finding the vole on this page, and this one was really hard….” So I’m pretty sure she was enamoured with the finding aspect.

As this is a kids book (aimed I’d say at early readers) my daughter is ideally placed to comment, and she did really enjoy this book, the pictures were stimulating (she has a critical eye here “I like how the bird is all black through the window” talking of a silhouette of an owl in flight, and she enjoyed the detail captured in the drawings and liked the facts as I read them.

Top Gun of the sky

I only wish I could say the same about the first book of the series, her comments to me were “it’s a bit boring” and “I like the flicky thing (there is a flick book element as an added feature to this book) but the other book is better”.

Now again there is a child friendly poem, which I liked but there are not the facts as in the owl book and the images are not as visually appealing to me or my daughter.


I think these are great books to start to get a child interested in nature/birds, they may not appeal to all, and the second book was in my very humble opinion slightly better than the first, but both are a great start and definitely a topic that is missing from small children’s libraries!