Home News April Pulley Sayre of South Bend wrote books on science and nature

April Pulley Sayre of South Bend wrote books on science and nature


In this 2008 photo, April Pulley Sayre greets students at Harrison Primary Center in South Bend before a talk on books and reading.

SOUTH BEND — Award-winning children’s book author, photo-illustrator and long-time South Bend resident April Pulley Sayre engaged children with science and the natural world.

She often incorporated photographs of the area’s nature in her books, making South Bend a part of her work.  

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Sayre died earlier this month from breast cancer, but she left behind a catalog of more than 80 children’s books that earned her widespread praise from educators. 

Though she grew up in South Carolina, Sayre traveled extensively before settling in South Bend for the past 15 years.

“She has a way of taking the subject and making it fun for kids,” said Kathy Burnette, owner of Brain Lair Books in South Bend and a friend of Sayre’s. “That’s kind of why they use her in classrooms. Even though it’s a nonfiction picture book, you can get into it and kids can make artwork based on what she’d done.” 

April Sayre

Sayre was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1966. She first developed her love of nature by working with birds at an animal rehabilitation center and by farming vegetables at her grandparent’s farm, according to her website. Sayre also enjoyed taking trips to the Appalachian Mountains in the summer to hike and in the winter to skate.  

Sayre attended Duke University and graduated with a biology degree in 1987. She then worked for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington D.C., where she met her future husband, Jeff, a fellow naturalist and author. The pair were married in 1989, according to Publisher’s Weekly. 

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