Parrots over Puerto Rico Wins Sibert!

Parrots Over Puerto Rico wins Sibert Award

Susan L. Roth’s Parrots over Puerto, written with Cindy Trumbore, won the 2014 Robert F. Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book.Parrots had already received five starred reviews and appeared in the Society of Illustrators Original Art exhibition.  Published by Lee and Low, it has garnered a long list of awards.

“Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home…These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever.”

Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development and habitat destruction. Roth and Tumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots’ story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.

“It shows another side of Puerto Rico,” says Deborah Taylor at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. “We have many people who live in our midst who have roots in this country and to have attention to that country is wonderful.”

Taylor, a Guild member and chair of the Sibert selection committee for next year, says the award has had a huge impact on how information is packaged for children. “We no longer think it’s just a children’s book and I don’t have to include my sources or have my facts straight. The award has raised the bar in children’s literature.”



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