Review of Parrots Over Puerto Rico

Title: Parrots Over Puerto Rico
Author: Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Illustrator: Susan L. Roth
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Year: 2013
Ages: 6 - 11

"Above the treetops of Puerto Rico" the Puerto Rican parrots have lived for millions of years, even before settlers inhabited the green island. The Taínos called the parrots iguaca and the island Boriquén. Then, the Spaniards came and called them cotorras and changed the name of the island to Puerto Rico. Spain ruled Puerto Rico for hundreds of years until 1898, when the United States took over after winning the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans became US citizens in 1917. Ever since, Puerto Ricans have debated whether to become a state, an independent country, or remain a commonwealth.

In Parrots Over Puerto Rico, Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore masterly account how as Puerto Rico's history moved forward, the Puerto Rican parrots were negatively affected by the population, natural disasters, and deforestation. Only two hundred parrots remained by 1954. They were almost extinct by 1967. The governments of Puerto Rico and the United States established the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program in 1968. Scientists set to save the Puerto Rican parrots.They opened aviaries, brought Hispaniolan parrots, built nesting boxes, and trained the parrots to live back in the wild. Fortunately, the Puerto Rican parrots are increasing in numbers thanks to the program. If you visit our beautiful island and go to the forest, "you might catch the bright blue flashes of flight feathers." 

Thoughts on Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Winner)

Parrots Over Puerto Rico grandly connects the history of the Puerto Rican parrot to the rich history of Puerto Rico. Wonderful nature-inspired and intricate collages done by Susan L. Roth accompany the skillful historical accounts. Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a must-read book for Puerto Rican families and those who want to learn about both our native Puerto Rican parrots and our multicultural and controversial history. 

Collage by Susan L. Roth.

Collage by Susan L. Roth.


ALA 2014 Notable Children's Books, Younger Readers

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal 2014

2014 Américas Award Winner

2014 Green Earth Book Award, Honor Winner

2014 IRA Teacher's Choices, Intermediate Readers

2014 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book

2014 John Burroughs Riverby Award

Rating: 5 stars

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  1. Beautiful collages and what a rich history thank you I never heard about the parrots in P.R. gracias


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