Shabby Sunday: Nature’s Flying Janitor by Victoria Cox and Stan Applebaum – 1974


Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

Today’s Shabby Share is:

Nature’s Flying Janitor


This is my first Shabby Share that I actually had to add on Goodreads because it hadn’t been listed yet. I had no idea how easy it was to do that and it was a fun experience…


This book fell into my hands at a special yearly book sale. It was at the best time because my family had just moved to the country and we were already very curious about these birds after seeing them fly around the countryside all day long. They’re quite large, swoop down, and we would often misidentify them as hawks.

We finally came across a group of them feeding in the middle of the road one day and a good close up of their heads came into view. It’s explained in the book why their heads are like this.


I am not really a villain. I almost never attack a living creature. I just wait around to do my part in Nature’s Sanitation Corps. I help to keep the landscape tidy. You could call me a “flying janitor,” but my name is Turkey Vulture. 


You may think this bird is ugly, but readers will learn about why this bird is so important in nature. Other facts share why you don’t see them until the sun gets higher in the sky, how they travel around in groups, and how they ward off other scavengers while eating their meals. [Spoiler] *One of my favorite parts in the book explains why it takes some time for these buzzards to fly off. When they eat too much, they have to stay on the ground to let some of their food digest first. Also, they can actually spray food out of their mouth to send away other scavengers.*


This is such a valued book in our home library. It’s written very simply as it’s told from the turkey vulture’s POV, includes interesting and detailed full-color illustrations, and children learn so many facts in a quick 28 pages. The food chain is explained and it even covers other types of vultures with illustrations for identification. This would be a great addition to any elementary science curriculum.


My copy is a first edition Golden Book from 1974. This appears to be in a series and I’d like to hunt down the others to make a complete set.


You can find this on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Golden Books; First Edition edition (1974)
  • ASIN: B0024CXQM6

I was able to find a copy on eBay for $28. It’s quite expensive being that it’s a first edition, but I did find some cheaper prices on Amazon.

Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm


Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt

Sassy Brit@ Alternative-Read

Brittany @ PerfectlyTolerable

Shari @

Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday. Do you have any Shabby books to share? Feel free to share your thoughts below or participate in Shabby Sunday if you’d like! ❤

22 thoughts on “Shabby Sunday: Nature’s Flying Janitor by Victoria Cox and Stan Applebaum – 1974

  1. Fantastic review! I love this meme and have enjoyed following your vintage reads since you started it! Every animal is important, even if unattractive! I didn’t know that they could spray the food – eek! Thanks so much for sharing, M! 💗 xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those birds have always interested me because they pretty much stand their ground, even when you stop the car close to them to watch them (yes, I’ve done that because they fascinate me). 😉 I love that this book was written from the bird’s POV, making them more likable. Another great review! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow – this Shabby Sunday idea is a good one! Vintage books are so interesting, especially seeing how children’s books have changed over the years. They used to be much more matter of fact, don’t you think? Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. David R. Dowdy

    Turkey vultures are truly remarkable birds that have the ability to track the scent of carrion from hundreds of feet up. They do a wonderful job of removing the dead from nature. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them soar in the sky and close up feeding on dead mammals.

    Liked by 2 people

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