Vulture View

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Vulture View Book Poster Image
Rhyme and collage give vultures a new look.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A primer on the lives of these scavenger birds.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this award-winning book will make them see vultures in a whole new light. And, the simple scientific facts presented in rhyming language will spark any kids' interest in these amazing birds.

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What's the story?

As the air warms, vultures lift from their perches and ride the thermals in search of food. After finishing off a carcass or two, they clean themselves and head back to the family tree where they await the next dawn.

Is it any good?

You rarely hear the words "cute" and "vulture" in the same sentence, but in describing this book, you just might. With cut-paper collage, illustrator Steve Jenkins has made these amazing birds look friendly, and beautiful. And, April Pulley Sayre tells their story in language that is kid-like, and friendly too. Beginning readers especially will enjoy the rhyming phrases that both follow the birds throughout their day and provide a simple, scientific introduction to this unusual topic.

With shadowed vultures perched in a craggy tree against the blood-red sky, the cover of VULTURE VIEW looks a bit ominous. However, the eye in the featherless face of the one vulture hovering overhead almost seems to smile. And that should convince any reader to look inside to see the world from the viewpoint of this amazing bird. By the end, they may even be convinced to look further, and notes at the end pointing to Web sites and even turkey vulture festivals will show them how.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about vultures, of course, and watch them soar in the skies. What do they look like? Why do you think their heads don't have any feathers? How big do you think their wings are? Why is the temperature of the air important to how they soar, and fly? What would happen if there were no vultures on earth? What part do they play in the circle of life?

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