Perfect Picture Book Friday: Vulture View
Title: Vulture View
Author: April Pulley Sayre
Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
Publication Info: Henry Holt and Company, 2007
Intended audience: Preschool and up
Genre: nonfiction, picture book (32 pages)
Themes/topics: nature, animals, science, natural history
Opening and synopsis:
“The sun is rising.
It heats the air.
Wings stretch wide
to catch a ride
on warming air.
With her signature lyrical style, April Pulley Sayre tackles the seemingly ungraceful topic of turkey vultures. These animals eat what we wouldn’t dare — stinky, rotting meat. In “Get to Know Vultures” Sayre explains the turkey vulture’s important role in breaking down large, dead animals so mice, beetles, maggots and worms can do their jobs and return nutrients to the soil. She also notes areas that budding scientists might want to study when they grow up. For example, scientists know little about how the vultures communicate and what they do in the winter.
Resources/activities: Sayre includes many resources in “Get to Know Vultures,” however her rich Web site provides even more resources. For teachers, she provides appropriate curriculum standards….here. She also recommends the Turkey Vulture Society. You’ll find a turkey vulture dot-to-dot and crossword puzzle on the State of Ohio’s parks page….here.
Why I like this book: One of my favorite nonfiction PB authors, Melissa Stewart, originally recommended this book as an outstanding example of picture book nonfiction. Sayre’s strength is her lyricism, which makes turkey vultures interesting and attractive. And, of course, Sayre’s stellar writing is paired with illustrations by the legendary Steve Jenkins. The duo have created a not-to-be-missed reading experience.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.
36 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Vulture View”
Non-fiction is one thing I have not attempted is picture books yet, but I have an idea for 12×12 I think I’ll try. Thanks for adding this book. It looks super!
Go for it Robyn. Writing nonfiction is often more time consuming where research is involved, but it’s also challenging because you have to make the story fun.
I love this lyrical langauge, I’m getting this for sure. I recently wrote a poem about turkey vultures, they are so interesting!
Then you will love this book. I need to get some of Sayre’s other books as well. She has a whole series right now about fruits and veggies.
Lots of great nonfiction choices today! I’ll have to add this one to the list of PBs to share with my son.
And I added “Hatch.” PPBF is like Christmas. I love going to the library to pick up my presents.
A turkey vulture dot-to-dot activity. I’m in heaven.
And don’t forget your crossword. Ha, ha.
This is one of my favorites! I LOVE April Pulley Sayre. She’s AWESOME! I’ve checked it out from the library MANY times!
I am just now studying her, so I look forward to reading some of her other titles. I think her grapes book was just released.
I know where they are in winter! Fort Collins, CO! Actually I’m not 100% positive, a huge flock congregates near a friends house, and it seems year long!
I found out from Sayre’s site that there’s a turkey vulture festival not far from me too. I wonder if they winter here as well?
Sounds like a great non-fiction book. Just realized she is the author of Rah, Rah, Radishes which we liked. Will have to check out more of her books. Thanks!
Oh, I’m glad to hear someone weigh in on her radish book. It looks like she has a whole series on fruits and veggies.
Kirsten, I really like that we’re adding more nonfiction books to our list. As I think of the vulture in my backyard a few months ago, I have to admit they are interesting birds. My dog howled and refused to go near the door for two days. He smelled death. I love the nature theme and I looked at the author’s website and was very impressed with her activities for each grade level. Great selection for PPB.
Patricia, I think April Pulley Sayre is one of the best nonfiction PBers around, especially when it comes to form. Her writing is top-notch. She just happens to write nonfiction.
Vultures are BIG birds, too! We were so surprised by that when we saw some up close in the Everglades. Thank you for introducing this author, I’ve had very good luck with books you’ve recommended!
I’m glad to hear your family is enjoying the books, Heather. It’s so much fun to have quality nonfiction books as one way to learn about the world around us.
this sounds like a great way to learn about turkey vultures and the eco-system. Our personal book collection is seriously lacking in the non-fiction department. Great choice Kirsten.
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between
I’m happy to recommend some of my favorites, Tracy. Right now I’m trying to remember to add some fiction to our list.
This is such an informative post and sharing a book at that. My daughter in law just did her master’s thesis on Turkey Vultures and I am going to share this post with her. Thanks for sharing. I think I will write a non fiction picture book manuscript on birds too. I have an idea. I’m not in 12×12 but follow along with eagle eyes. 🙂
Oh, Clar, try it. Writing nonfiction is so much fun. I feel like I’m back in school every day (and I loved being a student.).
Every year in Hinckley, Ohio they celebrate the annual return of the turkey vultures with Buzzard Day in March. I have never gone, but wife went every year when she was little. She didn’t care much for the buzzards, but enjoyed the pancake breakfast.
Hopefully the pancake breakfast is not made with things that turkey buzzards would eat. Carrion = yuck.
We have turkey vultures ’round these parts…so I am going to find this book. I love the cover illustration.
Who couldn’t love Steve Jenkins!
I am not a fan of turkey vultures *shiver*. I will try to read the book because you recommend it and because of the illustrations 🙂
Amazingly, April Pulley Sayre makes turkey vultures sound graceful and appealing.
When I first saw the cover, I thought it was fiction. How interesting to read nonfiction through lyrical style, Kirsten. Like Erik, I am not particularly fond of vultures, either. However, I do love to learn about things so I would definitely give this one a try. 🙂
The poetry is beautiful too. It certainly makes turkey vultures seem a little less scary.
As an elementary school librarian, I can tell you that the cover of this book will instantly draw kids to it. Elementary children will eat this book up! I love that the author included activities with curriculum standards. I wish more authors would do this-makes my job a lot easier! Thank you for this great recommendation 🙂
I too love it when authors provide extensions and opportunities for children to learn more. A great book truly sparks curiosity, and it’s nice to know how to feed and encourage it.
Turkey vultures? Wow, that just sounds like something my son will love. Thanks for sharing.
My kids have asked to read it more than once. It’s a good one!
Turkey vultures? This sounds like a book my son would love. Thanks for sharing.