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Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Winner) Hardcover – October 20, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 11 years
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Winner
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (October 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620140047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620140048
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Few nonfiction picture books attempt this level of ambition, and even fewer succeed. Thankfully, Roth and Trumbore’s first instinct ends up being the best one: To tell the story of the Puerto Rican parrot you must also tell the story of Puerto Ricans. The earliest human inhabitant of the island originally known as Boriquén arrived by boat around 5,000 BCE. They found a land replete with wildlife, including the brightly colored parrots that built nests in the trees. Watershed moments in Puerto Rican history—including first contact with Europeans in 1493, the arrival of slaves from Africa, and the Spanish-American War—parallel the sharp decline in the parrots’ population, which numbered only 24 by the 1960s. That’s when collaborative efforts of the Puerto Rican and American governments to protect the parrots began, as scientists taught the birds basic social behaviors, how to recognize enemies, and how to raise their young. Roth’s stunning artwork—fluttery, textural collages of fabric and paper with a three-dimensional quality—complement the high-interest narrative and are arranged vertically across dual pages to make the most of the tall trees and the related human actions taking place below. A triumphant reminder of the inescapable connection between people’s actions and the animals in the wild. Grades 2-5. --Erin Anderson

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 9 customer reviews
It is so different as it reads like a tablet-the pages turn that way.
Bonnie Sayre
It also offers a wonderful way to show how aviculture and the use of science can help save a wild population of an endangered species.
Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
Rate: 5 This book has amazing illustrations, made with collage artwork and beautiful colors.
Karen Dutlinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sunday Cummins on January 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Roth & Trombone, 2013) is a well-written chronology of the demise of the Puerto Rican parrots until the 1970′s when a concerted effort sponsored by multiple institutions began to attempt to save the parrots. The beginning of the text is very much a chronology, a larger narrative of time moving from the co-existence of the parrots with peoples who came to the island around 5000 BCE and moving towards the establishment of Puerto Rico as a U.S. territory. Through this chronology, Roth and Trombone develop the main idea (gist) that over time, the parrots existence was put in jeopardy.

Then in the latter third of the book, while still recounting the events that occurred, the authors shift to a problem-solution structure. They’ve established the problem – the near decimation of the parrot population. What occurs after this is continuous attempts and unexpected obstacles to save the parrots. So in other words, the authors don’t just say – there were 13 parrots left (problem implied) and a group established an aviary (solution) and they all lived happily ever after. The “solution” is an endeavor, a series of actions taken focused on an outcome – increasing the number of parrots. Does this make sense?

This is where I’m going – teaching the problem-solution text structure is more complicated than a box for the problem with an arrow to another box for a solution.

This book could be read aloud in the primary grades (mid-1st grade and up). In the intermediate grades, it could be read aloud and then reread aloud with shared writing of the structure that evolves. Then students could read additional books like The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery (Markle, 2011).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is A true story of the beautiful parrots who lived on Puerto Rico for millions of years before almost completely disappearing. The parrots are a gorgeous bright green with bright blue flight feathers, and their story is accompanied by stunning collages replicating the tones of the island and the birds.

We learn that before Puerto Rico was inhabited by people literally hundreds of thousands of parrots flew over the island and smaller nearby islands. Many years ago a group of people called the Tainos arrived; they hunted the parrots for food and kept them as pets. Hurricanes came destroying treetops so the parrots were forced to find new nesting places. This they did and after they mated raised one family of chicks every year.

Unfortunately with the arrival of more settlers the parrots found their nesting holes invaded by creatures the settlers brought on their ships - some ate the parrots’ eggs and others swarmed their nests. Forests were cut down and the parrots began to disappear from places where they had lived for so long. In addition, people kept on hunting and trapping the parrots. By 1967 only 24 parrots remained so steps were finally taken to protect them. We learn the amazing steps scientists took to save these rare parrots and help them raise families.

Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a remarkable story, a lesson reminding us to protect those who cannot protect themselves. An illustrated Afterword details the success of the Puerto Rican Recovery Program and what it is continuing to do. In addition there is a fascinating list of important dates in Puerto Rico’s history.

- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Dutlinger on March 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Roth, Susan L., Trumbore, Cindy, Parrots Over Puerto Rico, Lee & Low Books Inc. 2013, Information book Sibert Medal winner 2014, Grades: 1-4, This book tells about the history of Puerto Rico as well as the story of the parrots of Puerto Rico. It gives a brief overview of how Puerto Rico was settled by humans and also the effect this had on the native parrots. Rate: 5 This book has amazing illustrations, made with collage artwork and beautiful colors. This book could be used when learning about cause and effect relationships, it shows how our actions do affect other things, not just ourselves. It is also a good book to use when learning about endangered species and species rebuilding, as well as history and geography. I also like how at the end of the book, real photographs were shown of the actual parrots and references were given for the reader who wants more info or just to fact check. Lexile: none
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender on April 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a Junior Library Guild selection that teaches about the history of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, highlighting current efforts to save the Puerto Rican parrot by protecting and managing the endangered species. The heavy, dark, single-column font—Francois One—that stretches across the bottom of each two-page spread may be unpleasant from a purely aesthetic viewpoint, but it is easy to read against the colorful backgrounds that Susan L. Roth designed. Let me say that being distracted by the typeface selection is the only complaint I have with this charming children’s book.

The wonderful paper and fabric collages of parrots flying above the island and through the trees are cleverly created and photographed to make scenes that demand your attention. Children and adults will want to spend time admiring the multiple layers and colors to see myriad objects with hidden bits and pieces in each collage. Each scene has depth or height that draws the reader down from the sky or up to the jungle canopy or through a village market. I marveled at the simple tools Roth used to create complex and remarkably colorful pictures for this book.

Beyond the images, Roth and Cindy Trumbore researched and wrote a turbulent and sometimes sad history lesson in a compact 44 pages. While telling the story of the island, the women have detailed how its hurricanes, settlement and development have influenced the population of the beautiful parrots that call it home. “By 1967, only twenty-four parrots lived in El Yunque.”

Roth and Trumbore show how governments worked together and even used the “cousin” of the Puerto Rican parrot, the Hispaniolan parrot, to help raise chicks to bring the population up.
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Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Winner)
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