Common Raven Book Earns Accolades

The annual awards for Southwest Books of the Year for 2013 have been announced and my book was a “Panelist Pick” in the children’s titles. Pretty exciting stuff! Here’s what the judge said:

Un-Common Raven, The: One Smart Bird

By Diane Phelps Budden, Loren Haury. Red Rock Mountain Press LLC. 32 pp. $11.95.A well researched and well written children’s book about ravens.This book includes facts about where ravens live – the Sonoran desert, their flight patterns, intelligence, curiosity. We learn about raven’s characteristics including; they are toolmakers, scavengers, they mate for life,etc.

Written for school age children and includes index, glossary, and bibliography. Excellent choice for student research and grade school homework assignments.

–Ann Dickinson, 2013 Southwest Books of the Year jury

Follow this link to view all the books chosen for a Southwest Books of the Year 2013 award:






Raven Book wins New Mexico-Arizona Book Award

The Un-Common Raven–one smart bird has won an award as a finalist in the Juvenile Book (grade school to high school) category in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

The awards program was founded in 2007 as a way of recognizing the best books produced in New Mexico or written by New Mexico aut2013-NM-AZBookAwards-FINALIST-1hors. Arizona was added to the awards program in 2012. There were 46 categories with over 1800 entries. Winners in each category will be announced on November 15. The award program was organized by the New Mexico Book Co-op, a not-for-profit organization serving authors and publishers. It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers.

Raven Book

The Un-Common Raven Book Cover

The Un-Common Raven Book Cover

A few years ago I was lucky enough to meet researcher Emily Cory, and friend to Shade the raven. Because of my relationship with Emily, I wrote a children’s book, Shade; a story about a very smart raven, describing the work Emily has done in training Shade and documenting her intelligence.  I became Shade’s friend too, and highly value this opportunity to interact with wildlife. I realized I wanted to know more about these clever birds and share it with others.
The Un-Common Raven: one smart bird is a description of one species of raven, the Common Raven, and is based on the considerable research being done about these amazing birds, especially the groundbreaking studies of Bernd Heinrich and John Marzluff.
The book shows the home territories in North America where Common Ravens live, their physical characteristics, feeding habits, family life.  Do ravens really play with other ravens?  And just how smart are these birds?  I also discuss the special relationship that has developed over the years between humans and ravens.
Undoubtedly, the most exciting and enjoyable aspect of this book are the photos. They were taken by local Sedona, Arizona, resident Loren Haury.  Loren chose the photos from his extensive collection of raven photos, and they bring the text to life for readers.
As John Marzluff stated, “(The Un-Common Raven: one smart bird) is….An
engaging introduction to one of the world’s most fascinating and influential birds.”
I think you will be amazed as you learn about the Common Raven. My life has been enriched from my association with these wizards of the bird world.

They are truly uncommon.