Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bilby Secrets

Bilby Secrets by Edel Wignell, illustrated by Mark Jackson (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 29.95
ISBN 9781921529320
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

A CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Short-Listed book, Bilby Secrets reveals extraordinary information about this charming marsupial. Before white settlement, two types of Bilbies lived on the Australian mainland. One of them – the Lesser Bilby - is now said to be extinct. But at Easter lots of chocolate bilbies can be found.

The story is presented in two parallel parts on each page. There is the narrative with the Bilby as protagonist at the top, and the factual information displayed in sentences shaped like waves. The two parts are connected by a common thread creating continuity and flow.

Did you know that a Bilby mother can have a litter of three babies and that they can have four litters in one year? Or that a baby spends 75 days in its mother’s pouch?

How does a Bilby keep predators from following them into their tunnel? How old are they when they start to mate?

This and lots more information about the Bilby’s secret life is beautifully presented in this well-researched book. Fantastic illustrations in earthy colours created with mixed media, accompany each entry. This educational and entertaining book will make the perfect gift for readers of all ages at Easter. Perhaps to accompany a chocolate Bilby (just a small one)?

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