Skydiver cover

By Celia Godkin & Celia Godkin


The story of a peregrine falcon and its mate’s struggle to raise their young is told against the backdrop of scientists’ efforts to understand the raptors’ decline in the wild. After a devastating effect on the bird’s lifecycle is linked to the pesticide DDT, the world’s fastest bird must depend on humans to recover and thrive once more.

High in the sky, a peregrine falcon joins her mate for some swooping and diving before returning to her nest to guard her eggs. The couple doesn’t know it yet, but they will lose most of these eggs – the first clutch to a volunteer scaling the cliff, and the next to the harmful effects of DDT.

Told against the backdrop of scientists’ efforts to understand the raptors’ decline in the wild, this illustrated non-fiction book tells the story of several generations of falcons as they’re taken to a sanctuary, reintegrated into the wild, and ultimately relocated to the ledge of a city skyscraper. With dynamic oil illustrations, author and wildlife artist Celia Godkin effortlessly captures the detail of the falcons and brings to life the different landscapes they inhabit.

Skydiver will delight and inform readers with a passion for species preservation, as it documents the struggles and the eventual success of the efforts to save the fastest bird in the world.

Available In


Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-927485-61-3
List Price: $19.95 CAD / $19.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 10.78 x 9.79 inches / 27.3812 x 24.8666cm
Pages: 32

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Orca Book Publishers

Carton Quantity: 25

Not yet available

Paperback / softback

Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77278-186-1
List Price: $15.95 CAD / $13.95 USD
Paperback / softback
Trim Size: 10.00 x 9.00 inches / 25.4 x 22.86cm
Pages: 32

Publication date: August 25, 2020

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 80

About this book



Praise for Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World

2016 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award shortlist

2016 Rainforest of Reading Award shortlist

2015 Green Earth Book Award shortlist

2015 Bank Street Best Book selection

2014 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection

2014 Resource Links “The Year’s Best”

“In clear and engaging language, Godkin frames this informative book around the story a pair of falcons and their offspring. The dramatic mating display of the male and the courtship dance between the two are beautifully illustrated.”—School Library Journal

“Dramatic oil paintings show falcons in various activities…this success story will be welcomed by nature lovers.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An attractive, informative picture book.”—Booklist

“Crisp text and exquisite paintings…This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries.”—Resource Links

“Godkin’s writing is clear and concise and well-researched…dramatic full-colour paintings illuminate each page….Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World is well worth a place on the shelves of the wildlife section in an elementary school library. Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

“Godkin…once again inspires young readers with an informative account about the natural world—in this case the successful conservation of a species.”—Canadian Children’s Book News

“An accomplished artist, Godkin also gives us pictures of this extraordinarily swift bird…it is these illustrations – as well as Godkin’s advice to “Look up!” – that will really inform and excite children about these beautiful birds.”—The National Reading Campaign

“…informative text…detailed accompanying artwork…An author’s note encourages readers to find out more.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction


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Teaching Guide

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