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

Saturday 14 June 2014

Review: Silly Birds

My daughter pounced on this book as soon as it arrived — and who can blame her when a cover is as gorgeous as this one! Unfortunately for her, however, her enthusiasm rather backfired. You see, my daughter loves to talk … and talk … and talk. And as this book so beautifully points out, speaking too much is only for silly birds!

This delightful fable is based around the Aboriginal saying that it is 'hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys'. Maliyan is a young eagle. Initially, he makes his parents very proud. He always looks and listens; he rarely speaks; and he earns the respect of everyone. Then, he meets Wagun, the turkey. Wagun is a 'wombah thigaraa' — a silly bird. He never looks, never listens and is always talking (usually about himself). No one respects him. But Maliyan thinks Wagun is fun. And it's not long before Maliyan has become a bit of a wombah thigaraa himself.

That's when things really start to go wrong. Other birds fall under Wagun's spell too. With all these silly birds around, no one is looking after the billabong any more. Food becomes scarce. The Elder birds are worried, and the pride Maliyan's parents felt in their son 'began to shrink each night with the setting sun'. Will Maliyan come to his senses before it's too late? And will Wagun learn his lesson?

Exquisitely illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a story of great wisdom and heart. One to treasure.

Title: Silly Birds
Author/Illustrator: Gregg Dreise
Publisher: Magabala Books, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: June 2014
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922142993
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book