STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Woodpecker Wham!

woodpecker whamWoodpecker Wham!
by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Steve Jenkins
40 pages; ages 4-8
Henry Holt & Co, 2015

Swoop and land.
Hitch and hop.
Shred a tree stump.
Chop, chop, chop!

I love listening to the woodpeckers in spring, as they drum on the dead trees in the woods around me. I don’t like it when they cling to the side of my house and chip away – but those are the little downy woodpeckers and they fly away when I knock on the wall.

So I was especially excited to get a copy of this book to review. I love April Pulley Sayre’s lyrical verse combined with Steve Jenkins’s awesome cut paper artwork. Sayre shares the details of woodpecker life: communicating by drumming on trees, flaking off bark to find insects hiding in the nooks and crannies, preening, flirting, excavating a nest. We get a good look at woodpeckers up close and personal. Plus, now I know who gets my cherries before I get out there with a basket…

Jenkins populates his illustrations with a diversity of woodpeckers. We meet red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers, downies and sapsuckers, flickers and pileateds.

I especially love the back matter – and there is plenty of it: six pages filled with info about woodpecker tongues, interesting behaviors, dining etiquette, and nest-building. There’s great information about how we can help woodpeckers by making sure they have habitat to live in, and advice about how to find a woodpecker – especially handy for those who don’t live in wood houses adjacent to forested landscapes.

 

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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