Pajama Press

School Library Journal reviews “engaging” Skydiver

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by pajamapress

Skydiver_C“K-Gr 2–A look at the peregrine falcon, whose population was almost decimated as a result of the extensive use of the pesticide DDT. In clear and engaging language, Godkin frames this informative book around the story of a pair of falcons and their offspring. The dramatic mating display of the male and the courtship dance between the two are beautifully illustrated. Occasionally, the birds are anthropomorphized (for instance, the female “joyfully” rises up to join her mate in flight). The author discusses the idea of the food chain, explaining that while DDT didn’t kill falcons outright, it caused their eggs to become so brittle that most broke before hatching. She explains how environmentalists were successful in having DDT banned but says that brittle eggs remain a problem many years later and that continuing human intervention is necessary to help restore the population. Godkin follows the fate of four eggs taken from the pair of falcons introduced in the beginning pages, and readers learn how some hatchlings are taken to sanctuaries to be incubated. Of the original four eggs, one hatchling is taken to a sanctuary, two survive after being moved from a cliffside nesting platform to a ledge on a city skyscraper, and the last falls victim to a great horned owl. An author’s note provides further resources and information on both peregrine falcons, and pesticide use.”

–Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library