The new picture book Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated by Susan L. Roth is taking flight. It will be one to watch, because already we’re seeing starred reviews in all the usual places.
What catches your eye right away are the mixed-media collage parrots on the cover. What holds your attention is the fascinating story of the history of the Puerto Rican parrot, tied in a unique way with the history of the island of Puerto Rico.
It is a heart wrenching story. Once numbering in the millions, the parrots have faced lost of nesting sites due to hurricanes and deforestation, plus competition and predation from introduced species like black rats and pearly-eyed thrashers. Over time, fewer and fewer parrots have survived.
Eventually, by the 1960s, the numbers of Puerto Rican parrot dwindled to mere handfuls. People stepped in and started captive breeding programs like the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to try to restore the species. The back matter of the book includes color photographs and a description of the ongoing efforts.
Due to their work, we can still see Puerto Rican parrots like the ones in this video.
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is the type of book you need to have on hand because it can be used in so many ways. Obviously it is perfect to accompany art lessons on collage in an art class. Pick it up for units on birds in science class, or for discussions of environmental issues and conservation. It also has an important place in units on U. S. history, because the history of Puerto Rico is covered in detail. Add darling parrots and the ongoing drama of whether they are going to survive and it truly is outstanding.
Ages 6 to 11
Grades 1 to 6
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (September 15, 2013)
Disclosure: The book was provided for review electronically via Edelweiss. I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.
Today’s round up is at Abby the Librarian.