Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Terry – Adventures of a Terek Sandpiper

Terry – Adventures of a Terek Sandpiper by Anne Hamilton, illustrated by Sandra Temple (Wombat Books)
HB RRP $21.95
ISBN 978-1-921633-30-0
Reviewed by Jacque Duffy

This book is suitable for independent readers and will encourage young minds to ask more questions regarding their environment and the migration of animals. The vast subject of the migration of Terek Sandpipers from Siberia in the Arctic Circle to the Australian beaches is tackled within a sensitive story.

Terry is a new hatchling; we meet him not long after his birth. He is counting his toes, 1, 2, 3, and asking how many sleeps. He has to wait till he is three weeks old before embarking on this epic journey with his father, sister and other late hatchlings.  We learn the number three is important in the life of a Terek Sandpiper. Together they fly half way around the world facing harsh conditions, and although not necessarily in the story, life and death situations are suggested giving the journey you travel with Terry a sense of urgency.

Sandra Temple the illustrator is an award winning artist with a love of conservation. Her illustrations are beautiful; they are kept soft with the use of an airbrush, coloured pencils and subtle colours. This softness adds to the sensitivity of a potentially traumatic journey the reader embarks upon with Terry.

An information page about the Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereous) is in the back of the book along with a glossary of words used in the story, and as a bonus there are downloadable maps available to show the path of these birds.

This book is not just for children but could also be a lovely gift for a bird lover.

Jacque Duffy is the author and illustrator of the series ‘That’s not a …” learn to read books used in all Queensland State Primary Schools and one local history coffee table book. www.jacquesartandbooks.com

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