Friday 7 August 2015

The Red Feather

The Red Feather by Ben Kitchin, illustrated by Owen Swan (New Frontier Publishing)
HC RRP $ 24.99
ISBN 9780957988439

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Owen Swan is a gifted illustrator and here is further proof of his talent. The child characters in this story are utterly delightful; so beautifully presented and perfect. Swan captures the expressions and attitudes so well it makes you believe you are watching real people in real life scenes.

The pivotal point of the story is a red feather found by Claude at the seaside. It magnetises him and its ownership gives him tremendous joy.

That is until Shelby sees the feather and feels the same as Claude about it. The feather is swapped for food when Claude becomes hungry.

Then William is mesmerised by the brilliant red feather. A reluctant swap for an umbrella when it rains sees him in possession.  The longing moves to Maya she sees the magical feather that is bewitching everyone.  It changes hands again, this time for a blanket. Maya leaves the group to enjoy this unique object alone.

But loneliness is no substitute for friends, even when a beautiful and coveted red feather is the prize. What will Maya decide to do?

The story with its simple text speaks of friendship, togetherness, and sharing. This delightful picture book with its stunning illustrations in pen, watercolour and coloured pencil is a stand out. It’s something special for the 3-6 age groups.

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