Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Environmental Conservation & Protection


Saving the Fastest Bird in the World

illustrated by Celia Godkin

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Aug 2020
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Endangered, Birds
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price
    $17.95 USD

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4



The top picture book about peregrine falcons returns in a new paperback edition with an expanded Author’s Note.

High in the sky, two peregrine falcons swoop and dive. The pair doesn’t know it yet, but they will lose most of this year’s eggs: the first clutch to a volunteer scaling the cliff, and the next to the harmful effects of DDT. Told against the backdrop of scientists’ efforts to understand the raptors’ decline in the wild, this illustrated nonfiction book tells the story of several generations of falcons as they’re taken to a sanctuary, reintegrated into the wild, and ultimately relocated to the ledge of a city skyscraper.

With dynamic oil illustrations, author and wildlife artist Celia Godkin effortlessly captures the detail of the falcons and brings to life the different landscapes they inhabit. Skydiver will delight and inform readers with a passion for species preservation, as it documents the struggles and the eventual success of the efforts to save the fastest bird in the world.

Skydiver will delight and inform readers with a passion for species preservation, as it documents the struggles and the eventual success of the efforts to save the fastest bird in the world.


About the author

Author-illustrator Celia Godkin is is best known for her debut book, Wolf Island, which won the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. She has continued to write and illustrate children's books with environmental themes including Fire! which was shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction. Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World has been nominated for the Green Earth Book Award. Born in England, Celia lives in Eastern Ontario.


Celia Godkin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World

2016 Hackmatack Children's Choice Award shortlist

2016 Rainforest of Reading Award shortlist

2015 Green Earth Book Award shortlist

2015 Bank Street Best Book selection

2014 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection

2014 Resource Links "The Year's Best"

"In clear and engaging language, Godkin frames this informative book around the story a pair of falcons and their offspring. The dramatic mating display of the male and the courtship dance between the two are beautifully illustrated."—School Library Journal

"Dramatic oil paintings show falcons in various activities...this success story will be welcomed by nature lovers."—Kirkus Reviews

"An attractive, informative picture book."—Booklist

"Crisp text and exquisite paintings...This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries."—Resource Links

"Godkin's writing is clear and concise and well-researched...dramatic full-colour paintings illuminate each page....Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World is well worth a place on the shelves of the wildlife section in an elementary school library. Highly Recommended"—CM Magazine

"Godkin…once again inspires young readers with an informative account about the natural world—in this case the successful conservation of a species."—Canadian Children's Book News

"An accomplished artist, Godkin also gives us pictures of this extraordinarily swift is these illustrations - as well as Godkin’s advice to "Look up!" - that will really inform and excite children about these beautiful birds."—The National Reading Campaign

"…informative text…detailed accompanying artwork…An author's note encourages readers to find out more."—Sal's Fiction Addiction


Other titles by Celia Godkin