Informational Picture Books

parrots over puerto rico

Roth, Susan L.  and Cindy Trumbore. Parrots Over Puerto Rico. Illustrated by Susan L. Roth. Lee & Low Books, 2013. 48 pages. $19.99 ISBN-13: 978-1620140048

The story of Parrots in Puerto Rico from the time of early people, through their near extinction and then to their reintroduction to the island.

Genre:  Nonfiction Picture Books

Age Range: 6-10

Rating: 3 out of 5 for quality. 3 out of 5 for Popularity.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, 2014

The Puerto Rican Parrot is a lively green parrot native to the island, a species who has watched the introduction of people to the island and nearly suffered extinction at the loss of habitat and invasive predatory animals and people. In 1968 the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico developed the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to try to bring a small population of parrots back to their habitat. The parrots had to be bred in captivity and trained to live in the wild, but the program has been a success in that every year more parrots are raised, released, and survive in the wild.

The collages are stunning, colorful and full of life and movement, bringing the island of the parrots to life. The book acts as a history through the eyes of the parrots, starting before people lived on the island and follows their rise and fall until modern day when they needed to be hand hatched in order to increase the population. Than back pages contain contain more real photos of the parrots and the scientists dedicated to helping them survive. The writing, while incredibly informative, does not live up to the liveliness or the interest of the illustrations, leaving my 5 year old bored about 4 pages in.


All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon

The Tree Lady: The true story of how one  tree-loving woman changed a city forever by H. Joseph Hopkins

Lifetime: The amazing numbers in animal lives by Lola M. Schaefer

Discussion Questions

  1. How does the story of the parrots also tell the story of the Island of Puerto Rico?
  2. What kinds of things did the recovery project have to do to make the parrots ready for release into the wild?


Brightly colored parrots fly overhead the island, calling out their brash call, Iguaca! Iguaca! Follow the history of Puerto Rico and the parrots as scientists work to save a species on the brink of extinction.


Author Website

Publishers Interview with the authors

A drop of water

Wick, Walter. A Drop of Water: a book of science and wonder. Scholastic, 1997. 40 pages. $19.99 ISBN-13: 978-0-590-22197-9

With stunning and fascinating photographs, this book explores the mysteries of water in its many forms.

Genre: Non-fiction

Age: 8-12

Rating: 4 out of 5 for quality. 2 out of 5 for popularity.

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, 1997

Here are a series of beautiful and fascinating photographs depicting the properties of water as it evaporates, splashes, condenses and bubbles. This book is certainly for the tween crowd,  the writing is descriptive and interesting, sneaking the facts in subtly. The glossary in the back of water related terms helps give clarity to the concepts. The author discusses molecules, states of matter, surface tension, soap bubbles, snowflakes, and the water cycle.

I picked this book up, curious about the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award for nonfiction that is geared toward a younger audience than most of the others. It is beautiful and fascinating to look at these micro pictures of water in action.


A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney

Splash! Learn About Water by Nadia Higgins


Watch the moment a snowflake forms, a droplet falls, or the water condense,.


Walter Wick Website

Scholastic Kids Interview

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