Welcome to ‘Tweeters’, a new series (I hope!) of monthly posts in which I write about books that feature birds in some way.
I’m starting off with a picture book Fly by Jess McGeachin, shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) 2020 New Illustrator award. Here’s the blurb from the publisher Penguin Books:
Fly is a beautiful story of determination no matter the odds, and love in the face of loss.
Lucy had always been good at fixing things, and Dad needed a bit of help. It was just the two of them after all.
So when Lucy finds a bird with a broken wing, she’s sure she can fix him too. But not everything that’s broken can be fixed.
Fly is a deceptively simple story. There’s a subtext about how children deal with loss, but the story’s magical quality means it is neither heavy nor didactic. And while there’s an injured sparrow at the centre of the story, birds are the heroes of the tale, too.
The illustrations support the narrative beautifully, Lucy’s world becoming more colourful and vibrant, the further she rises from the earth into the sky in her efforts to show her injured sparrow how to fly. I particularly liked the plates at the end showing different types of birds, many of them native Australian species.
I was introduced to this book when asked by Karen Fleischer’s to record a video for her Facebook page, Reading for Kids Gippsland. A link to the clip is below. My fabulous 15-year-old shot and edited the video (bless her!), which includes images of some of my ornithological #literarycritters. In a sign I should have done my homework, I incorrectly refer to author Jess McGeachin as ‘she’ instead of ‘he’. And I wish I’d recorded a day later after I had a haircut! But I hope you enjoy it all the same.
Can you recommend another kids’ book involving birds?