Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

April Pulley Sayre

I contacted author April Pulley Sayre from her website while I was seeking background information for my post on Vulture View. I wanted to know if she had any additional information to share with you, the reader, and I wanted to learn more about why she chose vultures.  Here is her reply:

Readers can look for a review of it in the October 15th Booklist.  Also, I just found out it is a finalist for the AAAS/SB&F/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Picture books. Yippee!

I see the book as being not just about vultures, but about physics.  Kids who read the book immediately understand that warm air generally rises and cool air generally sinks. I’ve read the book aloud to large groups during school visits in the last few months. The book is particularly appealing to older readers, all the way up to 5th grade. They think vultures are "cool."  The younger readers like the opportunity for the read aloud participation. Little kids love saying "Up, up!" and "No, no!"

I have seen vultures migrating, by the thousands, through the country of Panama, in Central America. I’ve also sat on top of a tower in the rainforest, a few feet away from a black vulture.
When I was in high school I helped take care of an injured vulture at a raptor rehabilitation center in South Carolina.

Oh…please let your readers know about the upcoming new conference I will be speaking at, not that far from you.

Teachers, Literacy Coaches, Media Specialists and Administrators –

On Friday, November 2, 2007, join other professionals for a day devoted to the writing process and the decisions behind an author’s words. Voices in Children’s Literature ( is a one-day literature conference being offered at Unicoi State Park. New York Editor Kristin Daly from HarperCollins will join a faculty of six critically acclaimed authors of children’s books to offer insights on character development, plot, conflict, illustration, voice and the craft of writing. There will also be a heavy emphasis on the different text-types of creative nonfiction. For those of you feeling a bit daunted by the new GA writing assessment, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore a variety of formats that mix factual information with narrative features.

Listen to presentations on historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry and story. Hear from the authors themselves how they brainstorm, write and revise to create the strongest books for children. Take back specific strategies that you can add to both your reading and writing workshops. Learn how to help students strengthen their writing and enjoy the revision process.

A large selection of children’s literature will be on sale all day. Authors will autograph and personalize books for attendees.

On the following day, Saturday, November 3, a writers’ intensive called Wordworks will be offered to anyone who wants to or does write for children. Participants will spend most of the day in a workshop setting with one of the authors focusing on a particular genre of writing. Manuscript critiques are also available for an additional fee. Again, Kristin Daly, editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, will address the group twice with guidance and support on how to successfully market in today’s publishing world.

For more information, or to register, visit this website:    If you have questions, you can email: .

So, readers, will any of you be attending the Voices in Children’s Literature or Wordworks workshops?