Pajama Press

Skydiver “is highly recommended for both school and public libraries”—Resource Links

Posted on January 13th, 2015 by pajamapress

“Using crisp text and exquisite paintings award winning author and illustrator Celia Godkin tells the story of a pair of peregrine falcons. The book begins with a description of the habits of the birds in springtime.

“Together, they swoop and tumble in a dazzling courtship dance.” As the story progresses, Celia seamlessly introduces the concepts of conservation in response to the long term effects of global usage of DDT. Celia describes how the first clutch of eggs was taken from the birds to be raised in a bird sanctuary.

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World  by Celia GodkinWithout bogging down the story, Celia provides justification and explanations of actions taken. In regards to the removal of the eggs Celia notes that “ The falcon rescue teams know that peregrines often lay a second clutch if the first is destroyed.” The pair of falcons do indeed lay more eggs and raise one chick that year. The book follows the development of the human raised chicks. Celia explains that due to the usage of DDT the peregrine falcon “…had disappeared from great tracts of its former territory” and shows that even high rise buildings in cities have been used successfully to reintroduce the peregrine falcon.

The two page paintings illustrate the wide scope of a peregrine’s world. The paintings evoke a sense of the peregrine’s speed in flight. This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. It can be used for story time as well as lesson units about nature, birds, conservation and the environment.”

Thematic Links: Peregrine Falcons; Animal Rescue; DDT; Environment
—Laura Reilly