My review for Aleesah’s newest book in this fab series is now live on Kids Book Review – why not check it out!
Tag Archives: Birds
Backyard Birdies – Andy Geppert
JUL 28, 2021 | 9780734420695 | RRP $19.99
Imprint: Lothian Books
Well, you know, I’m a secret bird geek. I love spotting them. I take part in the annual backyard bird survey every year and, even going way way back to my first year of teaching, had my class keeping tally of the birds they saw in the backyards and on their properties. The bird gardens at Maleny are a favourite day trip. We throw our food scraps out onto the grass to feed the neighbourhood bin chickens and crows (mostly). So yes, all in all, a friend of the feathery ones…
And then this book arrived – and I laughed and laughed with the absolute hilarious joy of it. I pretty much expected that I was getting a serious little beginners’ book of bird identification albeit with cutesie illustrations. What I didn’t antipicate was this gloriously uproarious slant on the birds we might most expect to find in our backyards (and here I’m thinking Brisbane backyards as author/illustrator Andy also hails from Bris Vegas).
To whit (but not, in this case, to whoo):
This is a common pigeon. Common because it’s almost identical to every other pigeon.
You’ll sometimes see a white one. That’s because it’s just had a bath. I made that last bit up.
Other avian facts you will discover include:
Seagulls can’t talk.
They can only shout.
Kookaburras love hearing jokes from everyone except dads.
Even kookaburras know that dad jokes are terrible.
Along with the fascinating facts… and near-facts… are the delightful and quirky illustrations with each bird depicted next to a common (or dare I say, garden variety) plastic bucket for reference to size and a feather, ostensibly, sticky-taped to the page. Each bird is accompanied by a map for distribution and it’s scientific name so there is some semblance of real information *wink*. The glossary that concludes the book refers not so much words of scientific or technical definition as much as the more random ones chosen by the author.
Most of my friends know that I donate my review books regularly – to a variety of sources – but I found this so amusing and so well-suited to my own sense of humour that it is very likely destined to live on my own bookshelves.
Do not hang about – get thee to your bookseller immediately and order this one. You will definitely not regret it!
Highly recommended for your readers from around six years upwards – I can well picture having a lot of fun with junior classes!
Our Birds: Ŋilimurruŋgu Wäyin Malanynha – Siena Stubbs
Young Yolgnu woman Siena Stubbs was just twelve years old when her interest in photography began. At first taking pictures with her iPad she later began more serious photography after the gift of a camera.
It wasn’t long at all before her beautiful work found its place in this delightful gift book filled with the glorious birdlife of Siena’s homeland in North-East Arnhem Land.
Each species captured on film has both its Yolgnu name and the English equivalent listed along with a lively description and explanation from Siena. As well each species is faced on its opposite page with stunning photos of the spectacular Arnhem Land landscapes.
Truly a work of love and art and a splendid gift to share with those who have a desire to explore our sensational Australian wildlife and country, this is a testament to the passion and talent of one young girl.
Read more about Siena here and watch a NITV interview with her here.
Finch – Penny Matthews
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $16.99
Even in holiday mode it’s a big ask for me to read a book in one sitting but this one is a corker!
At once a coming-of-age story and a beautiful reflection on accepting differences its country setting along with an environmental theme provides a strong contrast for city dwelling readers and a point of real engagement for those in rural areas.
Audrey knows she doesn’t fit in; even her little sister calls her ‘Nerd Girl’. Her passion for birds including knowing so many of their scientific names is just one aspect that sets her apart. Even so, leaving her old city school when her parents relocate to a country vineyard is fraught with misgivings about how she will even attempt to blend in with new school friends and country ways. Her father is filled with optimism about the new venture having spent a long time unemployed. Her mother has left her legal secretary job which has kept the family and is far less enthralled with their new prospects. Little sister Chloe is excited and happy and has no trouble at all being accepted into a crowd of new friends.
Then Audrey makes a secret friend, a boy hiding out in a nearby cave with his little dog. Finch and Snowy connect with Audrey in a way no one else has done before. Although rather surprisingly her elderly neighbour Mavis becomes more and more like a friend as well. And somehow there appears to be a ‘bird’ connection between all three. The mystery surrounding Finch takes Audrey into a new awareness of herself and ultimately also into an inner resilience she didn’t know she possessed.
This is just delightfully written with excellent and resonant characterisations and a truly great theme of adapting to new circumstances and embracing one’s own differences.
Highly recommended for readers from around Year 5 to Lower Secondary.