Vivian Vulture and the Clean-up Culture
Steven's First Children's Book Available Now!
Back in 1991, while attended an Oracle University class and feeling just a little bit bored by the slow pace of things, I decided I would write a book about a young vulture and her experiences out in the world.
Twenty-three years later, that story has come alive in Vivian Vulture and the Clean-up Culture, with the assistance of my wonderfully talented wife, Veva Silva, and another gifted artist, Robert Melegari. It is a fun book, both for children to listen to and for parents to read. It offers important lessons about respect for others - other creatures, like vultures, and other humans, too.
I offer the full text of the book below.
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And now, in the most shameless plug for Vivian Vulture and the Clean-up Culture that I can possibly imagine, I say to all of my fans: If you liked my PL/SQL books....first, you will love this book and, second, come on - you owe me! BUY THIS BOOK! :-)
Click here to order Vivian Vulture and the Clean-up Culture and we will sign it and send it off to you with free shipping (only $5 extra for international shipping)!
About Veva Silva
Veva Silva is a ceramist, jewelry maker, illustrator, Realtor and, in a former life, a nurse. She is also the mother of Chris Silva and Eli Feuerstein (a.k.a., my two sons), and grandmother of lovely Loey Lucille Silva. Veva currently runs the OMG! it's full of stars! studio in West Rogers Park, Chicago.
About Robert Melegari
Robert Melegari always loved drawing but for too long devoted his time to computer technology. In 2006, he decided that life was all about doing what you love, so he left his job and devoted himself to art, bringing great peace and satisfaction to his spirit. He's created many CD/DVD covers for musical groups, as well as illustrations for newspapers and magazines. Robert lives near Ravenna, Italy, where he resides in a small country house near a river. When not drawing or painting, he likes to head out on the river in his canoe, exploring and seeking inspiration from the natural world. If you need some illlustrations or graphic design, contact Robert here.
The "Lyrics" for Vivian Vulture and the Clean-up Culture
Just in case you'd like to get a feel for the book, and what it is about, here is the text:
Like all little kids the world around,
Vivian was sure her parents, pound for pound,
were the most beautiful
most loving creatures --
universally admired for their brilliant features.
Their wings stretched wide, talons sharp and strong.
When doing their job, they worked hard and long.
And, oh, their job! To Vivian, nothing could be finer:
Vultures keep the world
cleaner, more beautiful and shinier.
As a baby, Vivian Vulture would watch, eyes wide,
as her parents flew out to scour the countryside.
Eyes keen for hints of dirt, decay or litter,
with reluctance, they left Vivian with a babysitter.
As soon as Vivian learned to fly,
she joined her parents, wheeling in the sky.
Eager to follow the tradition of the Vulture,
she was totally swept up into the Cleanup Culture.
One bright and sunny Monday, above the jungle lush,
Vivian spied an elephant child, stomping through the brush.
Overcome by curiosity, astonished by its power,
the vulture abandoned her task at hand, and landed amidst red flowers.
"Good morning, you big hunk!" she cried. "Vivian's my name."
"Your parents' job from day to day, could you please explain?"
"The job of the elephant?" queried the beast.
"Examine my broad back, the muscles round my knees."
"We are the movers of the world!
No load too heavy, no journey too great."
Vivian was much impressed.
These elephants really rate.
"I wish I were as strong as you," she said with a big smile.
"Now, can you guess what Vultures do? It might take you a while."
The elephant trumpeted and slowly replied:
"Well, I know it's something dirty, or so my parents implied.
"I probably shouldn't talk to you, it might get me in trouble."
He tried to walk away, but Vivian was after him,
on the double.
"You've got it all wrong!" cried Vivian, quite shocked.
"We're not dirty. It's dirt at its source where we flock."
"We scrub what is grimy, keep trash off the roads.
"Without vultures, you elephants could not move your loads."
"Hmmm, now that you mention it, I do see your point,"
said the elephant, eager to put Vivian's beak back into joint.
"May I offer you a ride to your next destination?"
But Vivian laughed "No, thank you!" and increased her elevation.
On Tuesday the vultures cleaned up a grand mess
left over from parties north, south, east and west.
Still puzzled by the elephant, yet glad for his change of heart,
Vivian saw a spider family folding webs into a cart.
What a strange thing for a spider to do!
Vivian hopped over to get a better view.
"That's an odd thing to do, is it not?" Vivian queried.
Spider Dad looked her over and said: "No, not very.
"Nets, trampolines, racquet strings are our trade.
"Our webs are fashioned for recreational escapades."
"Then you must be doubly, triply content,"
noted Vivian, "that vultures to your games are sent.
"Because who would want to jump on your trampoline
if they couldn't jump off to a spot that's quite clean!"
On Wednesday Vivian woke up early with a roar.
From a lion cub, that is. "Hey, what's that for?"
she shouted. "Why make all this noise and ruin my morning?"
"I give the orders," replied the golden cat,
though she was still yawning.
"Orders?" echoed Vivian, not sure of the meaning.
"Yes, lions are bosses," purred the cat, who was cleaning
"See, we tell you what to do and what to think,
and then you go do it and think it, I think."
"That's all, nothing more? Is there nothing you make?
"Nothing you change or fix? Nothing you bake?"
Vivian laughed at the idea of such bossing,
ate a good breakfast, and attended to her flossing.
Thursday, the weather was grander than grand.
"To the river!" called Mother, for a picnic unplanned.
And what did they find at the bend near wild waters?
A bustle of beavers assembling new quarters.
No guessing was needed for Vivian to know
the job of the beavers: to build, and not slow!
Dams, houses and factories went up in a flash,
but for each new construction they piled up more trash.
"Look, here come some vultures!" cried a beaver, relieved,
for the heaping mounds of garbage were getting quite deep.
"Oh," sighed young Vivian, "You know what they say:
"A vulture's job is never done, come night or come day."
Now, after four days of work, Vivian woke up Friday Tired.
"Stay home, dear," urged her mother, but Vivian aspired
to be the toppest-notch cleaner ever to hoist garbage aloft.
"The world would be a dump, Ma, if we vultures went soft!"
And Saturday? Oh, Saturday was glorious and fun.
Vivian had a party for all of the friends she had run
into that week.
You know, the elephant, lion cub, spiders and beaver
had such a blast, they didn't want to leave her.
But when kids have a party, they leave behind a disaster.
So on Sunday, Vivian's parents worked fast and then faster.
"Relax, we'll handle this, it's no bother," said her dad.
And Vivian did rest, feeling deep in her heart very glad
that she was a Vulture.