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Parrots Over Puerto Rico

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  706 ratings  ·  220 reviews
Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home. . . . These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever.

Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, de
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 20th 2013 by Lee & Low (first published September 1st 2013)
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Journey by Aaron BeckerThe Dark by Lemony SnicketThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew DaywaltFlora and the Flamingo by Molly IdleMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown
2014 Mock Caldecott
29th out of 78 books — 206 voters
The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah HeiligmanOn a Beam of Light by Jennifer  BerneA Splash of Red by Jennifer Fisher BryantLocomotive by Brian FlocaWho Says Women Can't Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone
Childrens NonFiction 2013
40th out of 119 books — 35 voters


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Community Reviews

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Joan
Feb 12, 2014 Joan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates good bookmaking
This is just gorgeous! I had one person who was convinced that actual feathers had been used for the book. It is all collage by Roth! Instead of the conventional layout the book turns sideways and opens from top to bottom, a method that really works in this book. This is two stories in one: it is a brief history of Puerto Rico and it is a history of the decline, then recovery of these wonderful parrots who cry Iguaca! Iguaca! The numbers were down to *13* in 1975 when scientists started to succe ...more
Monica Edinger
One of my perpetual concerns is how we help children understand the complicated interrelated ways of wildlife and people, especially when it comes to endangered animals. My longtime experience in a school is that too often animals in places where lives are significantly different from those of my students are attended to at the expense of the people. That is, I fear that they will inadvertently develop a negative view of the people native to an area where animals are in danger rather than develo ...more
Carolynne
I loved this book--I can see why it won the Sibert Award this year! Well-deserved, Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore! Some of its reviewers (including some of my friends in Goodreads!) objected to the unusual orientation of the book, and I found it slightly awkward at first, but after thinking about it for about 5 seconds I realize why they did it: the artist has much more room to convey the space of the sky and later the forest which the parrots inhabit. Puerto Rican parrots are among the most enda ...more
Jim Erekson
I haven't seen a sideways book since Tadpole's Promise. I'm surprised more people don't do this. I realize it makes for a different kind of read-aloud, but a picturebook is just as easy to hold the tall way as the wide way. And the tall page gives a different kind of expansiveness that is appropriate for a book about birds, trees, and sky.

I'm not a great fanof the paper cutting art anymore. But it works well for feathers and leaves, so again, good choices.

The narrow sans-serif "Francois One fo
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Alison
"Parrots Over Puerto Rico" was an extremely engaging book with colorful, magnificent illustrations that would captivate any audience. This book walks through the development of what is now Puerto Rico. It discusses the people that have lived on this land and the events that have taken place, but it also discusses the beautiful parrots that have lived in the trees. These birds were plentiful when settlers first came to the island. Then, there were many different events that made their numbers dec ...more
Sarah Wheeland
Parrots Over Puerto Rico

(2013, October 1). School Library Journal. http://www.titlewave.com/search?SID=0...

Text Structure: Chronological Sequence

Fiction Twin Text: “Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate” by Kim Kennedy (2007)

Rationale: I took a more “light-hearted” approach to this twin text pairing. Parrots are an integral part of pirate folklore and “Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate” is a fun fiction book for kids as pirates are always a topic of interest. “Parrots Over Puerto Rico” provides a look
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Garren
A picture book meant to be read on its side so that each page (made up of two pages) is very tall. It tells the story of how the parrot population of Puerto Rico was affected by human migrations and conflicts and imported competing species until there were very few left in the wild. It then tells of the struggle to protect and breed parrots until things are today going in the right direction so long as the active conservation effort continues.

The artwork is photographs of stunning paper and fabr
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Jasmine Lambert
In Susan Roth's book Parrots Over Puerto Rico she combines history of the Parrots of Puerto Rico who have flown over and lived in Puerto Rico for centuries as well as the history of Puerto Rico itself. Both combine because their histories are similar, both have dealt with hardship and struggled with survival. In a picture book filled with amazing paper collages created by Roth she really gives readers a feel for these beautiful creatures. Roth explains how the birds were almost extinct and at on ...more
Tasha
This exceptional nonfiction picture book tells the story of the Puerto Rican parrot. It is a bird that has flown over Puerto Rico for millions of years but almost became extinct in the 1960s. The book tells of the changes that came to Puerto Rico and its environment thanks to settlers, wars, hunting, and foreign invasive species. Forests began to disappear too, so the parrots were limited to living in just one place. By 1967, only 24 parrots lived in Puerto Rico. With them almost extinct, people ...more
Erin
I normally do not review children's books, as with three kids I read so many, but I found this book to be of exceptional interest. It is formatted differently, features beautiful, brightly colored illustrations and details both the history of Puerto Rican people as well as their endangered parrot. The parrots are beautiful and the story of their decline is a lesson in how people can so easily decimate the environment. I enjoyed this book immensely.
Teresa
I adore this book so much I should just buy my own copy. Why do I rate it 5 stars (for "this was amazing!")? 1) It uses the scientific BCE date unit, 2) I have a thing for the plight of endangered species, 3) it has great illustrations, and 4) the author is not afraid to use complex words and concepts.
Donna
Author Roth takes on the challenging role of intertwining the stories of the diminishing population of native parrots in Puerto Rico and the development of this commonwealth. There is a lot to tell on both sides and she is to be commended for bringing both stories to a text for juveniles. However, neither story gets a full account and the result is more text than is enjoyable for a picture book, but not enough to be a research resource. Illustrations by Susan L. Roth are wonderful, but hard to e ...more
Kate
I love what scientists did in the aviaries to save the parrot populations. The paper collages of the parrots and rainforest are so intricate and well done. A beautiful book!
Laura
it was sad I almost cried!!!!!!!!!!!
Kristine Peska
Parrots Over Puerto Rico: Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

Text-to-Self: I had a difficult time finding a text-to-self connection with this book. The only thing that came to mind was my cousin’s pet parrot Kelly that she had when we were younger. Kelly was extremely large and had impressive skills. We thought very highly of ourselves because we were able to “teach” this bird how to talk and bob his head up and down when we played music. I thought Kelly was the most amazing pet because she was the
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Brenna
Multicultural picture book #2:
Text to self: As I was reading Parrots Over Puerto Rico and looking at the amazing illustrations in the book, I thought about the zoo here in Omaha. The pictures of the parrots and the descriptions of the parrots reminded me of when I went to the zoo and went in the jungle. In the jungle there is an area where birds can fly around you, and that is where they kept the parrots. The brilliant colors and noises they make really matched up with the beautiful colors found
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Molly Bullard
Text-to-self: I chose this book because it reminded me of Puerto Rico. I have never visited myself, but my husband went there on business once and introduced me to the beauty of the place and its people through his pictures and stories. His very best friend in the world is Puerto Rican. Although he is from New York, not the island, he still has family there. I have known him since we were 15, and I have had the distinct honor of getting to know his family, whom I consider my family as well. His ...more
Samantha Stock
Multicultural book entry #1 (primary)

Text-to-Text: The illustrations in this book reminded me a lot of what I've seen done by Eric Carle. Lots of textures and bright colors, with a certain depth to the pictures that makes them look like the artist took pieces of paper a glued them together to make the picture. Eric Carle's book "The Tiny Seed" is a story about a flower that releases its seeds, but not very many of the seeds survive. After some of the seeds turn to plants, only a certain number o
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Naomi Gaca
This was my second choice for a children's multicultural book-

This is an excellent story about Puerto Rico and endangered Puerto Rican birds. It talks about the birds struggle to survive on the island, the Tainos people in 800 CE, the invasion of Christopher Columbus in 1493, the Spanish American war, and hurricanes. Through everything that happened to the island and it's settlers the Puerto Rican birds continued to struggle to survive. Eventually there are special preserve areas that these bir
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Tom Bochnak
I read this book digitally, and it's definitely more suited for paper. The book is meant to be read like a calendar where you flip the pages up. I used OverDrive to download the book, and Adobe reader won't allow me to flip the pages. I had to read the whole book sideways.

Besides that issue, the content of the book was great. This is a relatively unknown topic because Puerto Rican history is not a huge focus in high schools without a large Puerto Rican population. I agreed with the author that t
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Kari Martycz
Ruth and Trumbore's Parrots over Puerto Rico, is a story about the Puerto Rican parrots, who were almost extinct, but through determination by the people they saved these amazing creatures. The story is captivated by its amazing collages to enhance the story, which are done by Susan Ruth. The parrots homes were impacted by wars, hurricanes and settlers. Due to so many things happening to their homes, their were only a few parrots still alive. In 1968, the US government and the Commonwealth of Pu ...more
Cayla Caudillo
Kirkus Review
An ambitious project: The text on each vibrant, double-page collage, arranged vertically, intersperses the near-extinction and slow comeback of the Puerto Rican parrot with over 2,000 years of human history.
“Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home….[T]hey nearly vanished from the earth forever. This is their story.” From this dramatic beginning onward, both artwork and text encourage slow absorption of each spread before the turn of t
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Samantha Powley
Parrots over Puerto Rico is a book written by Cindy Trumbore. This book tells the story of scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. The scientists try to save the parrots of extinction and try to give them a chance to live and a better future. There is a small but enlightening history of Puerto Rico in this story to give the background of why these parrots are in need of help. The history tells the readers that the once overpopulated parrots that in the 1960s, the almost become ex ...more
Brooke Snyder
Summary: This book talks about the parrots of Puerto Rico and how they lasted for centuries but almost vanished from the earth forever. It also describes time periods when different peoples came to Puerto Rico in their journeys. Parrots came close to extinction in the 1960s due to habitat destruction, development, and other factors. In the book, the authors tell about the efforts of scientists to help recover the Puerto Rican parrots.

Personal Response/Critical Response: This book is interesting
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Sarah Wilbern
Trumbore, C. (2013). Parrots Over Puerto Rico. New York: Lee & Low Books INC.
Sibert Award 2014
Sibert Choice

This book was very colorful, it was mainly in cool colors: green, blue, brown, and off white. The pictures were collage, and the material to create them was paper and cloth. This book is very informative. It describes the life of the parrots in Puerto Rico. There were once abundant (hundreds of thousands), but over time they were almost extinct. The reasons why the number dropped was b
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Joanna Thompson
1) “Twin Text” – Have You Seen Mary, Jeff Kurrus, 2014.

2) Rationale: I selected this twin text because this fictional tale shows a love story between two Nebraskan sand cranes and beautifully illustrates their story. This fictional story builds background knowledge about bird behavior and illustrates the harmful effects humans can have on a species. Students can connect to the setting (Nebraska) and will hopefully have an aesthetic response to the story, helping them understand Parrots Over Puer
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Bethany
1. Fiction Twin Text: Title: Have you Seen Mary?, Author: Jeff Kurrus, Copyright: 2012
2. Rationale: These books are both about types of birds that live in very different parts of the world. It talks about the dangers that the Puerto Rican Parrots have had to overcome and how there has been a refuge built to help save and protect them from becoming extinct. Have you Seen Mary, is about the obstacles John and Mary face on their journey across the United States as Sandhill Cranes and how they have
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David
This book is eye-opening from the start: the book is actually rotated 90 degrees to open upward (as opposed to the left), allowing each two-page spread to serve as a tall picture to better depict the height of the forest and sky that the parrots inhabit. The art alone—meticulous collages crafted from cut textiles—is amazing. The story follows the history of Puerto Rico’s unique parrots from millions of years in the past to current times in which the species is endangered, as well as the history ...more
Destinee Sutton
The first part of this book draws parallels between the history of the Puerto Rican parrot the history of Puerto Rico itself. About halfway through the book, when the parrots become truly endangered, the focus shifts away from Peurto Rican history and concentrates on efforts to rehabilitate the parrot population.

Interesting and well-written, but not a stunner in my eyes. In terms of nonfiction books for kids about endangered species, I greatly prefer last year's Moonbird by Phillip Hoose, which
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Keturah

Winner of the 2014 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Most Distinguished Informational Book for Children, American Library Association, Parrots Over Puerto Rico tells the story of the near extinction of Puerto Rican parrots by telling the history of the people of Puerto Rico.

Visually, this book was terrific. I keep looking at the cut-paper illustrations on each page over and over discovering new details I missed on prior readings. The illustrator, Susan L. Roth's fabric and paper collages are outstandin
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