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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  54 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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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  303 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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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!
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really spectacular, life-sized (in some cases) illustrations of predatory birds.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Plenty of information about these truly big birds along with very impressive artwork accomplished by the author from his many sightings. The art work and fold-outs give readers a true feel for the size of these birds.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the life size pictures.
Jun 30, 2011 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 chi ...more
Kathleen Ferrel
Jun 20, 2012 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
Jan 05, 2012 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".
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
It was almost impossible to get our preteen to "read" the book because she was so enthralled by the illustrations. We can understand it. Incredible illustrations will grab readers of all ages. The facts about birds and bird species are told in small bites so that you learn a lot but don't get that bogged-down textbook feeling.

To read our full review, go to the Reading Tub.
Mary Ann
Jan 25, 2012 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 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.
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.
Aug 13, 2012 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!
Feb 27, 2012 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.
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.
Jun 20, 2012 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
Stephanie Sapp
Aug 11, 2012 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.
Jul 25, 2015 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!
Brenda Kahn
May 24, 2012 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.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lovely educational book, with huge pull-out sections.
Dec 12, 2013 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.
Jul 23, 2015 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.
Tara Choate
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The pinacle of all that is good and wonderful about birds and this author! Amazing!!!
Dec 28, 2014 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.
Jun 25, 2012 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.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
spectacular illustrations and interesting text
Mar 13, 2016 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.
May 09, 2012 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.
Dec 30, 2012 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.
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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