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

Monday 3 October 2022

Review: Swifty the Super-fast Parrot

I have to admit, I hadn't heard of the swift parrot before reading this marvellous picture book. But after reading it, I feel well informed about this remarkable bird.

But this isn't a book of facts per se. Award-winning author Stephanie Owen Reeder takes us on a journey through the eyes of Swifty the parrot in a delightful narrative story about her life.

From her hatching in the hollow of an ancient tree in Tasmania, to spreading her wings on a migration adventure to mainland Australia, readers experience the action-packed ups and downs of Swifty’s world.

As she grows, rainbow colours flood Swifty’s feathers.

She practices flying with the other fledglings, zipping and zooming through the trees.

There are dangers along the blossom trail Swifty follows. And because she is one of the fastest birds in the world, manmade structures get in the way and Swifty is injured. Will she ever get back home to Tasmania?

I love this immersive way of learning. Through story, readers will gain so much knowledge about the swift parrot. This is then backed-up with four full pages of text to help clarify terminology and provide more details about these amazing birds.

You’ll learn about breeding, migration and survival, as swift parrots are now critically endangered. But there’s also info about how to identify a swift parrot and how YOU can help in the fight to protect them. Overall, it’s an inspiring and heart-warming read.

Illustrator Astred Hicks, also an award-winner, brings colour, joy and so much heart to the pages. Her illustrations are funky and detailed, and Swifty’s rainbow plumage shines bright on every page.

With detailed teachers notes to accompany it, this book is great for classrooms keen to learn about Australian wildlife. But it’s equally brilliant as a bedtime story, with or without the extra notes at the back.

I’ve found these types of books are also great for inquisitive junior readers who still love a book read to them but also want some independence to explore it on their own. Books like this support that experience because the extra details can be read by older readers after story time if they’re keen to learn more.

Joyful, inspiring and engaging, Swifty the Super-fast Parrot is a winner.

Title: Swifty the Super-fast Parrot
Author: Stephanie Owen Reeder
Illustrator: Astred Hicks
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781486315918
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Books