Australian – Bird

Picture Books

Peka-Boo The Smallest Bird in All The World – Eliza Feely

Being the smallest bird in all the world is no skip in the bush. Everything’s BIG. Big egg. Bigger nest. Big whopper brothers. But the biggest twig-snapper of all is, what is Kapecki (Kookaburra)on about? A feisty, lovable bird with lots of attitude, very Ocker/Australian language.

Where’s my Mum – Susan Hall

A lift the flap book, that takes the reader on a search as the baby bird looks for his mum.  We meet several Australian birds on the way. Surprisingly informative, lovely illustrations. Recommended.

Jeemuluk The Young Noisy Scrub Bird – Corinn Wallace Hine

A long picture book about the endangered noisy scrub bird of Western Australia.  Young Jeemuluk ventures forth to sing his song when he is ‘captured’ and relocated to a safe colony.  He finally sings his song.

Enora and the Black Crane – Arone Raymond Meeks

A traditional story, Enora lives in a tropical rainforest, the natural world is being created and Enora discovers a shimmering rainbow of colour flying through the forest. His curiosity overwhelms him and he sets out to discover its meaning.

The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay – Narelle Oliver

One day in Boonaroo Bay the various birds quarrel over who has the best beak.  The wise old pelican settles the quarrel by holding a series of contests.  We love Narelle Oliver’s books.

High Above the Sea – Narelle Oliver

High above the sea, where no one dares to climb, the osprey waits and watches.

Another Narelle Oliver and I believe the finest we have read. Stunning illustrations, information about ground birds entwined withing the storyline.  Highly recommended

I admit to being disappointed with this book, perhaps because the book was set in the city not in the wild, it didn’t capture me and the storyline was rather uninspiring.

The Twilight Hunt – Narelle Oliver

The Best Nest – Penny Olsen

Before the robins begin to build their nest they visit all their friends too

see which is the best design. Each bird feels their nest is the best, but the robins don’t feel any are right for them.  Informative with lovely illustrations. Recommended.

The Bush Concert – Helga Visser

The countryside is in drought, the birds put on a concert to cheer themselves up. As the concert draws to a close a storm a storm breaks. Told in rhyme a huge gathering of wide variety of Australian birds. Rich illustrations.

Tanglewood – Margaret Wild

Quite an intriguing book, very sad and lonely tone.  The Tanglewood tree was all alone on an island, no one stopped until one day a bird was blown ashore.  After time the bird left, leaving the tree even lonelier until one day she returned with a huge flock.  In some ways the poignancy of this book reminds me of Shel Stevenson’s The Giving Tree, without the selfishness of the second character. Illustrations are beautiful. Recommended.

 Short Chapter Books- All OOP

Puddy – Kathleen Henry, Frances Mead & Julie Morris

A picture book about a baby Rosella who is captured and taken into captivity to a pet shop.    Puddy is so miserable he begins to tug his feathers out until he looks tatty.  He is rescued and taken to a lovely aviary with other feathered friends.  He is nurtured back to health and eventually set free into the bush.

An Aviary on the Plains – Henry Lamond

A collection of ‘sketches’ of birds of the Outback.  These are of a more serious nature for the junior ornithologist.

The Story of Kurri Kurri the Kookaburra – Leslie Rees

The story opens with the hatching of Kurri Kurri and his siblings on the East Coast of Australia.  Soon his parents are teaching him survival skills, to laugh and to fly.  Alas the day before it was Kurri Kurri’s turn to learn he was stolen from his nest by two men! Thus begins a long journey for Kurri Kurri and a young companion Karloo who are transported to Western Australia. (kookaburra’s were indeed introduced to WA in the early part of last century) Kept as pets in a backyard the young birds encounter surburban dangers and have to teach themselves skills normally taught by their parents. Eventually the birds manage to escape to the wild where they begin building a new life, thus beginning the life cycle anew. (Not one of the author’s best)

The Story of Karrawingi the Emu – Leslie Rees

Did you know father emus do most of the hatching and feed the chicks at the beginning? We follow the adventures of Karrawingi and his family, learning their eating habits, their family patterns and the dangers they face, Karrawingi loses two of his sisters to wedge-tailed eagles. The young must learn grooming habits, how to drum and how to search for food themselves. Karrawingi faces many other dangers besides the eagles, we follow his many adventures with interest.

The Story of Koonaworra the Black Swan – Leslie Rees

Whilst black swans are a symbol of Western Australia they are found in the wild all over temperate Australia. Koonaworra is born in a marsh in Victoria, shortly after moulting season Koonaworra grows beautiful black feathers like his father’s.   As the drought worsens the swan colony leave the marshes, in search of food.  Once the drought breaks the colony  once again return to the marshes. Koonawarra however is not amongst them as nearly loses his life enroute.  After several adventures he makes his way back home. One of our favourites.

The Story of Wylah the Cockatoo – Leslie Rees

Australia has seventeen species of cockatoos, including the yellow-tailed cockatoo.  Baby cockatoos are big beaked, big footed ugly creatures covered in yellow down and Wylah was no exception.  From this book we learn what cockatoos eat, their habits and the dangers they face.  We follow Wylah from babyhood through to her mating and the hatching of her own fledgling.

Spotty the Bower Bird- ES Sorenson

A collection of Australian nature stories including Spotty the Bower Bird, other bird tales and more.  This is one of our favourites, some paragraphs are rather slow but we skip parts to draw out the best.  Jeanne has also shared more on the background of the author, ES Sorenson.

Thunderbolt the Falcon – C K Thompson

CK Thompson a member of the Royal Australasian Ornithologist Union, has based this novel on the peregrine falcon and the efforts of two boys to train one as a hunting hawk.

Old Bob’s Birds – C K Thompson

Old Bob the Swaggie, a bird lover, imparts his knowledge of the bush to young Roddy and his friend Susan.  He describes the birds with all their foibles, their faults, come says Old Bob are real villains.

Larry the Story of an Australian Seagull – Ina Watson

Ina Watson is another absolute favourite author! Through the main character Larry we learn much about seagulls and follow Larry’s adventures.  The illustrations are in colour and detailed!

 Silvertail The Story of  a Lyrebird – Ina Watson

A favourite! Once again incredible, colour illustrations. Until we read this book we didn’t know much about lyrebirds, but they are fascinating birds.  Watson’s description of a male lyrebird’s courting rituals is vivid and memorable.  A must read!

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