What follows is my Australian Birds book review. This is a fabulous children’s book, illustrated by studio artist Matt Chun, with text by Ella Meave. It is no wonder this book was shortlisted for the 2019 Children’s Book Of The Year Awards.
First Impressions Of The Australian Birds Book
‘Visually stunning’ are the first two words that come to mind. Melbourne artist Matt Chun has brilliantly decorated this children’s book about common Australian birds with vibrant colour sketches of each of the 16 birds within.
Each bird illustration is accompanied by a page of helpful information provided by Ella Meave. Here at Birdwatch World, I even learned a couple of new things by reading this book.
Prior to flipping through its pages, I had no idea that Sulphur-crested Cockatoos have a fine, white powder on their feathers for waterproofing, nor that Pink Galahs sometimes breed with other cockatoos, including the Sulphur-crested?!
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Each and every bird illustration by Chun comes alive on the page as you turn over to continue learning about these fascinating Australia Birds.
The Magpie is the first bird to greet you; a long, sloping beak and huge, sparkling eye glaring at you from the paper. You almost become so hypnotized by that eye that you forget to read the text on the opposite page.
Next is one of my favourites here at Birdwatch World, the Eastern Yellow Robin. This was a welcome and unexpected discovery for us and earned the book its second star.
Continuing on you will find the ever-adored Superb Fairy-wren. This little male fairy-wren immediately captures your attention, clutching his feet around a small stick with his blue tail raised high.
Over the page, a majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle stares off into the distance across the paper. His large, downward-curving beak draws your eye to the text on the opposite page. Your kids will learn about how the nests of this bird of prey can weigh up to 300kg!
The book follows on with the Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian Pelican, Powerful Owl, Laughing Kookaburra, Australian Brush Turkey (another welcome addition), the Eastern Rosella, Galah, Tawny Frogmouth, Southern Cassowary, Superb Lyrebird, Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, and finishes with the iconic Emu.
Summary and Rating
Children of all ages will love this book. The illustrations will wow them and the facts will teach them so many important things about these feathered wonders.
Here at Birdwatch World, I gave this book 4 stars for just one particular reason. It’s petty but in the Magpie text, Ella Meave mentions how “many birds hop when they’re not flying” I’m sorry Ella but birds don’t hop, and neither do Kangaroos…they leap about on two feet – they bounce.