Tuesday, January 28, 2020

April Sayre’s Book Vulture View

The sun is rising.

Up, up.

It heats the air.

Up, up.

Wings stretch wide

to catch a ride

on warming air.

Going where?

Up, up.

Vulture View, a Theodor Geisel Honor Book, American Library Association. I am so excited about this book! It explores the life of vultures, surely some of the most underappreciated cleaners in the world. It also teaches kids about warm air rising and cooling air sinking. Steve Jenkins has created gorgeous art for this book. The text is young, lyrical, with a push, pull, and refrain that kids will love. It works for surprisingly advanced audiences. Older kids seem to like the gritty facts of a vulture’s life.

Personal note:  I have had plenty of interactions with turkey vultures. When I was in high school I worked at Pete Conroy’s raptor rehabilitation center at Furman University in Greenville, SC. We took care of a young, rather clueless turkey vulture. I learned then just how shy and retiring these birds are in comparison with hawks and owls. I also learned how to gather roadkill. Yes, whenever I saw a dead opossum, I would pull my little blue King Cab to the side of the road and go pick up the carcass. This involved grabbing its long pinkish tail and swinging the thing into the back of the cab. This was dinner for the turkey vulture. When you are taking care of animals, you do whatever is necessary. Actually, it’s not a messy job, at all, thanks to that sturdy opossum tail. Jeff and I have also seen turkey vultures migrating through Panama. I will try to post some photos of those turkey vulture kettles another day. We saw them swirling by the hundreds and thousands. Now when I see turkey vultures I think of the words of the book. I think of the lovely illustrations by Steve Jenkins. Wait until you see the vulture faces! Why, they are positively attractive! It is amazing what art and some cut paper can do.


Curriculum Standards can be found here.

Awards & Recognition
  • Theodor Geisel Honor Book Award, American Library Association
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Finalist, AAAS/SB&F/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
  • Finalist, Cybil's Online book bloggers award
  • "Celebrating the majesty of an underappreciated creature, this volume should attract a wide audience both for its fascinating content and sprightly execution." —Publisher's Weekly
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • "My 4-year-old and I checked out Vulture View from the library. We both enjoyed it. He especially appreciated the line about rotting animals! You know you have reached your audience when a preschooler asks for a nonfiction story to be read again and again."-Donna McCalman, parent and children's librarian
Readers’ Comments

One Response to “Vulture View”

  1. Perfect Picture Book Friday: Vulture View « Creating Curious Kids – Kirsten W. Larson Says:

    […] Picture Book Friday: Vulture View Title: Vulture View Author: April Pulley Sayre Illustrator: Steve Jenkins Publication Info: Henry Holt and Company, […]

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Grade Range:
K to 3
Publish Date:
October 2007
Henry Holt


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