Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots
as green as their island home. If you look up from the forest,
and you are very lucky, you might catch the bright blue flashes
of their flight feathers and hear their harsh call . . .
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a nonfiction picture book co-written by Cindy and her friend and illustrator Susan L. Roth. The book jointly tells the history of Puerto Rico from prehistoric times to the present day and its iconic, highly endangered Puerto Rican parrots. In spreads that open from top to bottom, the story shows how, for centuries, the raucous parrots and the island's many waves of settlers lived peaceably together, both hunting for food, surviving hurricanes, raising their young, and protecting their homes. But after Puerto Rico's transfer from Spanish to American rule, and the dawn of the 20th century, things began to change. With logging and farming in their traditional nesting sites, the parrots' nesting trees were destroyed, and by 1967, only 24 Puerto Rican parrots were left in the wild. Humans had nearly caused their extinction. Could humans now save the parrots?
As they did in their award-winning The Mangrove Tree, Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth again tell two intriguing stories: one set in the treetops of Puerto Rico and the other on the beautiful island down below. The book includes an Afterword illustrated with text and photos that tell more about the story's human heroes, the dedicated scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. Read an interview with Cindy and Susan about creating this book together here.
"A sense of humanity's ability to both help and hinder the natural world courses like a river through this study of the rise, decline, and resurgence of parrots on the island of Puerto Rico."--Publishers Weekly
"Roth's stunning artwork--fluttery, textural collages of fabric and paper with a three-dimensional quality--compliment the high-interest narrative. . . . A triumphant reminder of the inescapable connection between people's actions and the animals in the wild." --Booklist
Honors for Parrots Over Puerto Rico:
2014 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Most Distinguished Informational Book for Children, American Library Association
2014 Américas Award, Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for portayal of Latin America and the Caribbean
2013 Riverby Award, John Burroughs Association
2014 Orbis Pictus Honor Book, National Council of Teachers of English
Publishers Weekly Best 2013 Books, Children's Nonfiction
School Library Journal 2013 Best Books
Kirkus Best Children's Books of 2013
Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choice
Book Links Lasting Connections title
IRA 2014 Teacher's Choices Reading List
2014 Best Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education
Starred review, Publishers Weekly
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
Starred review, School Library Journal
Starred review, Booklist
Starred review, The Horn Book
To inquire about speaking engagements for Ms. Trumbore and Ms. Roth, please contact Hannah Ehrlich at Lee and Low (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Pub Date: November 2013
48-page hardcover, $19.95
Lee and Low Books 96 Madison Ave., Suite 1205 New York, NY 10016 ph 212-779-4400
text copyright (c) 2013 by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore