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.
Without 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
Posted on October 30th, 2014 by pajamapress
Watch Celia Godkin’s peregrine falcons swoop and dive in the new animated book trailer for Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World.
Animations by Maryna Nekrasova
Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by pajamapress
“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