Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, collages by Susan L. Roth is an informational text with textural beauty.
What an amazing story that is true. Roth and Trumbore tell the story of parrots and human history on Puerto Rico and how their interdependence as ebbed and flowed. From the first page where the parrots are hidden in the picture and introducing how they nearly vanished from the earth forever. Those last two sentences on that first page, "They lived on this island for millions of year, and then theynearly vanished from the earth forever. This is their story." Brings to my mind the intro to 'Law & Order' every episode...here are their stories...dum, dum, dum.
The parrots were there long before people. There are one or two words at the bottom of each page that help with pronunciation. The page orientation has been made vertical, so there is that startling difference coupled with the awesome collages this book will keep anyone's attention, child or adult.
I've reviewed books by Susan Roth before and I do love her collages. With this book she has found a nice balance of technique that is plain paper and special paper and digital textures. It gives us layers of information and layers to parts of the island that show the interconnectedness of humans and birds.
Some highlights for me were the first page you see the parrots flying, the hurricane page, and the waterfall page. But all the art works so well with the text to explain the history of these rare and wonderful birds.
This book could be used by teachers or parents for any age child. If using with young children, then I would paraphrase, read aloud portions and show this beautiful art. When using with school-age children and middle school, I would read aloud and share portions. This book will make a great intro for older students to how people and nature interact and how they influence each other.
There is no wonder in my mind why this title won the Sibert Award.