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

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Review: My Bird, Bertie

Riding in the car with my bird Bertie, riding in the car, just Bertie and me.

Bear loves driving in the car with Bertie, chums on the road, happy together in the car. What Bear doesn’t like is Gertie getting in the car… and Tilly…and Jack.

Soon the car is waaayyyyy too full (and it’s definitely not a relaxing car ride anymore).

When a bus arrives, Bear spies a solution to his problem, but it’s not the solution you might think.

My Bird, Bertie is a fun, funny and charming picture book about boundary pushing and stretching ourselves in uncomfortable situations.

Author Amelia McInerney, writes in a brilliant rap-style rhythm which will have you reading the story with beat in seconds. The words roll off your tongue, and your readers will adore it (this is now my five-year-old’s favourite book!).

I adore the subtlety in this picture book. The upbeat rhythm draws you into the story of a fun car ride with lots of friends. But when you watch Bear’s face, you start to notice that he’s not as excited as everyone else.

Bear obviously likes his space, and his boundaries are being pushed beyond his comfortable limits. Keep an eye on Bertie, too. Bear’s best friend obviously knows him well and can see he is struggling.

This is a book to explore, reflecting on and asking questions about the illustrations as you go. The messages are masterfully camouflaged, and I feel there are more hidden messages I am yet to see, waiting to reveal themselves on repeat reads. A book that continues to give!

And, of course, I can’t mention the illustrations without going into the details. Shane McG’s illustrations truly are joy in paper form. The colours pop, the details are to die for, and I just couldn’t imagine a better illustration style for this book.

I love the funky, rounded-style world McGowan has created, with chunky vehicles and characters with oversized heads. The illustrations and text hold hands tightly throughout this book, creating perfect unity and a deep story to explore.

Sure to be a picture book classic, My Bird, Bertie is a must-have for homes and classrooms. It’s a perfect read aloud, great for groups and perfect for one-on-one reading with your kidlets to go deep into the hidden story layers.

And once you’ve devoured Bertie, make sure you check out McInerney’s other stellar picture books, like The Book Chook + more of McG's fab books, like The Thing that Goes Ping

Title: My Bird, Bertie
Author: Amelia McInerney
Illustrator: Shane McG
Publisher: Scholastic, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 February 2021
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781743835111
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book