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

Saturday 14 September 2019

Review: Ivy Bird

Ivy is a redhead that loves birds. They surround her life. She associates herself with these feathered friends and imitates their calls and actions in play. She can trill and chirp, peep and chatter, cackle, tweet and squawk. 

Ivy enjoys a singular freedom which the sight of her birds and their sense of autonomy give her, for what she sees stimulates her imagination. It sets up her whole day.

Jess Racklyeft’s passion for drawing small birds, and her medium preference of watercolour, allows her to portray in the brightest light, McCartney’s creative and demonstrative text. 

Alliteration and frequent assonance add repeated sparks of sound to each page. This is engendered by her always precise choice of words. A sense of lightness and joy is reflected in the whole presentation.

Racklyeft’s illustrations, child-like and endearing, are shared with her daughter’s contribution throughout the book. The exquisite cover whets the reader’s interest. Gorgeous bird-filled endpages contribute to the magic that seems to float through a story that displays the unity and friendship, between a child and the natural world.

The birds steal the show. Each of them appear in a double spread at the end and make a collective impression for kids to admire and learn from. They are named and introduced by appearance, habits and food choices.

Ivy Bird is the fifth collaboration between these two highly-talented creators. It follows the partnership that began in Smile Cry, See Hear, Merry Everything! and Hip Hip Hooray!

Title: Ivy Bird
Author: Tania McCartney
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Publisher: Windy Hollow Books, $25.99
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922081797
For ages: 3 – 6