Friday, June 26, 2015


Woodpecker 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.

Want to learn more about woodpeckers? Check out this quick guide at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Advanced review copy from publisher.

1 comment:

  1. I love woodpeckers too. Unfortunately, where I live, I hardly ever hear them. Thanks for telling me about this book. I just ordered it from my library although I suspect after I read it, I will need to own it.