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Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators
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Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Acclaimed naturalist and illustrator Jim Arnosky helps birds and imaginations take glorious flight in this breathtaking nonfiction picture book with six giant gatefolds.
Arnosky will draw out kids' inner explorer as he explains why there are no feathers on a vulture's head, which bird is the deep-diving champ, what makes an owls's wings perfectly silent in flight, and much
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Sterling
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nancy Jo Lambert
Wow! So rich with detail. I see a station inquiry based activity with this book. I see butcher paper with the birds dimensions on it so the kids can see the true size of these birds. Amazing!
Aug 26, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing

The Nonfiction Detectives' Review:

Excuse the pun, but nonfiction bird books fly off the shelves at my library. Many of my patrons are fascinated by bird facts and pictures. (I have to admit that I'm a sucker for a good bird book, too.) So, I was eager to pick up a copy Jim Arnosky's latest nonfiction picture book about birds of prey.

Thunder Birds is titled after the Native American eagle spirit, and it's evident from the introduction that Jim Arnosky has g
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book was amazing. Focusing on birds of prey, Arnosky painted life-sized parts of birds (all of them were too big to fit on a two- or even three-page spread) that are detailed and life-like. Some pages open out into three or four panels. For example, the osprey's wing covers two pages and part of a third. The picture that amazed me the most was the head of the great gray owl--I didn't know they were that big! I can see now how they might swoop down and kill small cats, which gives me the ...more
Little Kid Reaction: It was almost impossible to get her to "read" the book because she was so enthralled by the illustrations.

Big Kid Reaction: This is an amazing book. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the layout is wonderful. The fold-out pages really give you the feeling that you are up close and personal with these birds. I liked the list of places to go to see the birds, too.

Pros: Incredible illustrations will grab readers of all ages. The facts about birds and bird species are told in s
Kathleen Ferrel
Jun 20, 2012 Kathleen Ferrel rated it liked it
This book was really neat because the author is also the illustrator. He mentions his own experiences with birds of prey, which this book is primarily about, and goes into detail how he tried to paint the pictures to be as life like as possible in order for the reader to see the birds through the authors eyes. Some of the illustrations are also life size fold out pages detailing the head size and wing span of certain birds. Nature lovers grades k-3 would love this book due to the authors mention ...more
Actually 3.5 stars. The illustrations are amazing.

Story: a nonfiction pictorial on nature's flying predators with several fold-outs as well as life-size illustrations. An author's note as well as additional resources/reference are listed at the end.

Writing/Illustrations: This is another good one from Jim Arnosky. Lots of interesting facts as well as personal narrative. The four life-size paintings are done in acrylic paint and white chalk pencil. The life-size illustrations are not necessarily t
Jan 05, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction

Jim Arnosky is a pro at wildlife illustration and this book is no disappointment. In Thunder Birds, Arnosky has chosen to highlight the biggest and strongest of birds. He mixes his wonderful personal narrative with fold-out life size illustrations that will thoroughly engage readers, both young and old. This book will definitely inspire readers to grab a pair of binoculars and search out their own "thunder birds".
Mary Ann
Mar 22, 2012 Mary Ann rated it liked it
This was a good book on birds of prey. I was disappointed that the California condors were not included. Perhaps Arnosky did this as a measure of protecting the species since their numbers in the wild are still so small. Goodness knows there are enough 'nut cases' out there to make it dangerous for the species, but it would also be an opportunity to educate students and citizens on the necessity of protecting existing species.
Jun 19, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
What a great book! The pictures are amazing. The facts are presented in a kid-friendly format and reading level. Kids will love the layout and the fold out pages that bring the birds to life. Readers will walk away with an appreciation for these birds as well as a little more knowledge about the majestic predators.
Jul 26, 2015 Oliver rated it it was amazing
This book was interesting because it told me how long the wings were and how many inches the birds were. The regular pelican is 60 inches long and its wingspan is 110 inches. I am 50 inches and the pelican is taller than me!
Aug 13, 2012 Kkakaliouras rated it it was amazing
Shelves: use-in-lessons
I have a thing for birds of prey so I really enjoyed this book. The paintings were gorgeous, so carefully detailed. I appreciated Arnosky's stories and the information shared. A great non-fiction read!
Stephanie Sapp
Aug 11, 2012 Stephanie Sapp rated it really liked it
A perfect book for bird-watchers. I'm sure students will love comparing their arm-length to the wingspan of the osprey. The illustrations are incredible and the text is very personal, related to Mr. Arnosky's experience.
Jim Arnosky'd name equates with high quality non-fiction literature. He knows exactly how to engage readers with his intensely detailed illustrations and captivating language. Thunderbirds is amazing.
Casey Girard
Beautiful paintings of these flying predators with many of them painted at full size. This means you can compare them to your hand as you read. The personal stories about seeing the birds in the wild pair nicely with the paintings.
Feb 27, 2012 Leigh rated it liked it
Jim Arnosky is noted for his lovely paintings of wildlife, incorporated into picture books. However, this non-fiction book would do better for kids if it had photographs, not paintings. Kids today grow up with television and video and photographs would mean more to them.
Jun 20, 2012 Amanda added it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: 1st grade and up
Appeal: Students and teachers. Beautifully illustrated book book about nature's flying predators is geared for the nature loving, inquisitive child.

Awards: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children-Recommended Books
Dec 12, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing
My son loves reading about bird and Arnoski is one of the master nature writers/illustrators for kids. If you have a child who loves bird this is a must read.
I can't rate or review this book yet as I am a judge for the final round of Cybils in NFPB category.
Jul 18, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing
The pull out pages make this book exciting and I learned a ton from the comparative information about the birds.
Aug 09, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Beautiful book of this author's paintings. Lots of information on the different birds. Daxon will love this one. Very well done
I would use this book to talk about the circle of life from prey to preditor. I would use this in science or for reading.
Nadiyah Alanazi
May 27, 2014 Nadiyah Alanazi rated it liked it
This is a nonfiction picture book. It is a beautifully book that has a lot of detailed facts about different birds of prey.
Dec 30, 2012 Graham rated it really liked it
Bluebonnet Nominee, the pictures are really pretty amazing. I've tried to encourage my kids to read this and not just look at the pictures.
Jul 24, 2015 Gabriel rated it it was amazing
I thought it was cool to read a fold out book by myself. Snowy owls always look cute to me. The author and his wife actually saw most of this birds. That's pretty cool.
Brenda Kahn
Jun 14, 2012 Brenda Kahn rated it it was amazing
Another gorgeously illustrated book by a master nature painter. The fold-outs are impressive. Everything about the book invites young readers to stay awhile.
Dec 28, 2014 Hank rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A fabulous book about eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls and another great choice if, like me, you are looking for read-aloud choices that will excite your middle-grade, animal-curious child.
Mar 13, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book is superbly illustrated and chock-full of really good information about predatory birds. I could upper-elementary students enjoying this book and getting much from it.
Jun 25, 2012 Bethe rated it really liked it
Bookaday #28. Most illustrations are labeled if they are life size or not. Interesting information abounds in this book, I learned quite a few things about birds of prey.
Jul 22, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it
Very informative book with wonderful life size paintings and drawings. Great book for beginning bird watchers.
paula rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2011
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Jim Arnosky was born in New York City, NY Sept 1, 1946. He was raised in Pennsylvania. Jim graduated from high school in Philadelphia and joined the US Naval Reserves. His active duty took him to Maryland and Bremerhaven, Germany.
In 1976 Jim and his wife Deanna moved to Vermont with their two daughters where they have lived in an old farmhouse for the past 28 years. 17 of those years were spent ra
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