cover image Woodpecker Wham!

Woodpecker Wham!

April Pulley Sayre, illus. by Steve Jenkins. Holt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8842-7

Using a brisk, upbeat cadence, the team behind Eat Like a Bear and Vulture View chronicles the lives of several species of woodpecker as they communicate, collect food, chisel bark, and more. “Fan those feathers./ Shower clean./ Sunbathe dry./ Then oil and preen!” writes Sayre as two yellow birds spread their wings under blue skies of rain and sun. Jenkins’s torn-paper collages combine downy textures and boldly contrasting patterns, creating an almost three-dimensional effect. Northern flickers have plumage suggestive of leopard print, while other specimens are mottled in black and white. Stylish feathers aside, Sayre concludes with a woodpecker doing what woodpeckers do best: “Bill to bark. Build!/ Slam, slam, slam!/ Chip and chop./ Woodpecker wham!” Substantial appendices provide a wealth of woodpecker information for birders in training. Ages 4–8. (May)