'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 10 March 2011

Review: The Bush Concert

It’s drought time in the bush and the local birds are feeling a little low. With nothing to do and in need of cheer, a flashy bush concert is just the thing to lift some feathery spirits.

The pink cockatoo committee (in spectacles, neck scarves and pearls) hold an emergency meeting and very soon, performers of all sorts flock from the sky to offer their trilling expertise.

But it’s not just singing these fine feathered friends can offer for this superlative concert event… it’s rollicking rosella clowns, can-can dancing pelicans, acrobatic wading birds and an enigmatic bird of prey, evoking a magician’s dove from a handkerchief.

A bush choir, fan dancers and flamenco musicians all culminate in the most fantastical finale – the perfect and heart-warming ending to an age-old climatic problem.

Visser has penned a thoughtful, beautifully Australian story, with utterly entrancing ink and pastel illustrations of our country’s myriad birds. A glossary on the last page of the book is a joy to look through – both children and adults will love perusing these beautiful animals – and finding them throughout the book.

I’m not sure why the author wrote this book in rhyme – some of the wording is just so delicious, it doesn’t need the discomfit-fraught perils of rhyme. I feel the book would have worked better by lending more focus to the illustrations rather than the words.

Nevertheless, this is a superb and beautifully-crafted book every Australian would be proud of. A must-own.

Title: The Bush Concert
Author/ Illustrator: Helga Visser
Publisher: Omnibus Books, $26.99
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN: 9871862918863
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 2 – 8
Type: Picture Book