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

Saturday 7 November 2020

Review: Scary Bird

Change can be scary. Sometimes, meeting new people can be scary, too.

In Scary Bird, the residents of an aviary are suddenly confronted with a new bird. 

The new bird is scary! 

Although he eats and cleans and rests the same as the other birds, he looks different, and sounds different.

The other birds get themselves in a flap.

They worry about the new bird eating their food, sharing their living space and bringing his different ways to the aviary.

The poor new bird, who is now known as the scary bird, feels lonely and out of place. Until one day one of the other birds decides to make friends.

Over time the scary bird becomes less scary, and he and his fellow birds learn how to communicate and share stories and experiences with each other.

Eventually, scary bird is no longer scary.

The illustrations in Scary Bird are a combination of ink and digital images. Most of the birds are similar shapes and colours, but the scary bird is quite different, angular and with spotted feathers.

Author and illustrator Michel Streich created Scary Bird as a way to tell a story with many themes. He explains that was somewhat inspired by his own experiences, and those of his parents. 

It's about "migration and racism, of leaving home, of new beginnings and old memories. On the surface, it is a story about a bird who arrives in a new place and is met with fear and distrust, and about how he becomes comfortable in his new, unfamiliar surroundings."

Scary Bird is a great conversation starter that can be used in different ways with different readers, from a simple story about birds and differences, to an allegory about the migrant experience.

Title: Scary Bird
Author/Illustrator: Michel Streich
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, $ 17.99
Publication Date: October 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781743838594
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book