Review: The Go-Away Bird – written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Catherine Rayner

The Go Away Bird

Julia Donaldson illustrated by Catherine Rayner

Macmillan Children’s Books

ISBN: 9781509843589

RRP $24.99

 

Description:

A gorgeous story about friendship and working together from a star picture-book partnership, the inimitable Julia Donaldson and award-winning Catherine Rayner.

 

‘The Go-Away bird sat up in her nest,

With her fine grey wings and her fine grey crest.’

 

One by one, the other birds fly into her tree, wanting to talk or to play, but the Go-Away bird just shakes her head and sends them all away. But then the dangerous Get-You bird comes along, and she soon realizes that she might need some friends after all . . .

 

The Go-Away Bird combines brilliant rhyming verse from much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson, creator of the bestselling picture books The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard, with stunning illustrations from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner. A charming story about the power of friendship from a thrilling creative partnership, this beautiful book is perfect for reading together.

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Julia Donaldson is the author of some of the world’s best-loved children’s books, including the modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide, and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard adventures. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle books illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. Catherine Rayner studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. Catherine won the Best New Illustrator Award at the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Augustus and His Smile and has been awarded the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. Catherine’s other titles for Macmillan include the critically acclaimed Solomon Crocodile and the award-winning Smelly Louie.

 

https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781509843589/

 

 

My View:

This must be the best rhyming children book I have come across (yes its prose really does rhyme, and rhyme well, not awkwardly as some children’s books do).  The story has a beautiful message; read out loud, enjoy the language, the rhythm and as you turn the pages experience the delightful art. I am in awe of the illustrations.

 

A gorgeous book.

 

 

Post Script: Lost & Found – Brooke Davis

Tantalisingly honest and thought provoking. The voice of Just Millie is enchanting and engaging and will break and then mend your heart. 

Lost & Found

Brooke Davis

Hachette Australia

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733632754

Description:

Millie Bird (aka Captain Funeral), seven-years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her red, curly hair. Her struggling mother leaves Millie in a local department store and never returns.

Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house – or spoken to another human being – since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silences by yelling at passers by, watching loud static on the TV and maintaining a strict daily schedule.

Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl is moved into a nursing home but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

A series of events binds the three together on a road trip that takes them from the south coast of WA to Kalgoorlie and along the Nullarbor to the edge of the continent. Millie wants to find her mum. Karl wants to find out how to be a man. And Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.

They will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself experience sadness just might be the key to life.

 

My View:

What an incredible debut novel – this narrative is sad, sweet, funny, enchanting, engaging and tackles life’s big questions without fear, with honesty and store mannequin called Manny! The main characters in this story share so much about what makes them human – warts, strengths, wrinkles and all. In this book we discover that old age is not the same as death… that we are all going to die one day…why don’t we talk openly and honestly about the future, about life and death and how we cope with loss– these experiences are inevitable and will affect those around us and ourselves of course, one day…and yet these events/experiences are so much a mystery, a taboo, we could all do with a little Just Millie aka Captain Funeral inside us prompting us to ask the awkward or uncomfortable, seeking honesty not platitudes.

 

I loved this narrative. I loved the main characters; gum booted Just Millie, Agatha Pantha and Karl the Typist, such fun and outrageous personalities, I loved reading their coming of age stories.  The voice of Just Millie charmed and engaged me and made me shed a tear. This author writes with such wonderful insights, this is a charm to read.