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BOOK REVIEW: Bird to Bird by Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris

| 19 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Bird to Bird by Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris

Black Dog
March 2018
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Books

6/10

Award-winning picture book creators Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris team up to bring us a gentle story of nature, history, recycling and art.

A bird drops a seed to the floor of the forest. The seed grows into a sapling, then a tree. The tree is felled and taken to a busy city. Bird to Bird is the story of one bird, one seed, one tree. Award-winning picture book creators Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris have crafted a gentle story of nature, history, recycling and art.

– The truth behind this story is that the wood used to make bunks on board the convict ships was reused when the ships reached Australia. There was no need for the bunks on the return journey and the wood was a valuable resource.
– Exquisite paintings by award-winning illustrator Wayne Harris take this story through time.
– This is a gentle story of nature, Australian history, recycling and art. 

 

The simplistic wording and meaningful illustrations in Bird to Bird convey the story of the journey a tree might go on in the course of many years, from growth, to cut down, to building, and then reused several times until it comes to be a child’s toy in the form of a hand-carved wooden bird. 

There are several levels to this story which can engage children of various ages with different messages. For older children who are able to look for visual clues in the images, this could be a handy educational story about aspects of Australia’s history, and for younger readers it carries a good message about recycling.

Though the style of the images are obviously meant to reflect the historic journey, starting in convict times, they unfortunately run the risk of not drawing children in visually.

Stephanie O’Connell

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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