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VULTURE VIEW by April Pulley Sayre


by April Pulley Sayre & illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7557-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

Vultures may seem an unlikely subject for a literary celebration, but this playful, brief poem and accompanying collages serve as a pleasing celebration. From ascent on morning thermals through a day of scavenging to rest at night, the vultures’ routine unfolds on the page. Page turns lead readers along the vultures’ search for “foods that . . . / REEK! / Those fragrant flowers? No, no. / That spicy smoke? No, no. That stinky dead deer? Yes, yes! / Vultures like a mess. They land and dine. Rotten is fine.” Sayre’s text is positively gleeful in its exposure of the previously unacceptable subject matter to a child audience, depicting vultures not as cartoon villains but as a necessary part of nature. Jenkins’s textured collages reveal unapologetically ugly vultures against a breathtakingly clean blue sky, almost chortling as they juxtapose lovely blossoms with the decomposing deer carcass. A two-page appendix gives readers a chance to “Get to Know Vultures” and provides a more thorough context for the preceding fun. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)