Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World – written and illustrated by Celia Godkin


91RAAWqFnqL  Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World – written and illustrated by Celia Godkin, Pajama Press, (9781927485613), 2014.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  5 (5=starred review)

Genre:  Nonfiction Picture Book

What did you like about the book? A peregrine falcon pair mates and lays eggs. Before the eggs can hatch, they are stolen by a scientist who rappels down a cliff to get them. No, it’s not an evil scientist. Rather, it shows the lengths conservationists were forced to go to prevent the extinction of a species when DDT caused birds’ shells to become fragile. Scientists knew the wild peregrines would lay a second clutch to replace the stolen one. Meanwhile, more of the stolen young survived than would have in the wild. The story shows how scientists raised the young and then released most back into the wild to help the species recover. This is a hopeful, upbeat success story told using attractive watercolor pictures in mostly blues and browns. A brief author’s note at the end provides sources of additional information about peregrine falcons and the rescue efforts.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Although the audience appears to be first to third graders, some challenging vocabulary (eg. accumulate and conservationist) makes it better suited to be read aloud by an adult.

Who should buy this book? Elementary libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in nonfiction in 598.9 with other books about birds of prey.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review: 7/7/16

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