Wednesday, 4 October 2017


Meeka by Suzanne Barton, illustrated by Anil Tortop (Bluebell Books)
HB RRP $22.00   ISBN 9780648099307

Reviewed by Brook Tayla

Meeka is a sweet blue bird that regularly visits all the stalls on market day.  He samples everything on offer but his gluttony leaves him feeling unwell, so the girl at the Moroccan Stew stall puts him in a tagine to sleep off his over indulgences.  Her father mistakenly sells the tagine and so begins the chase to find Meeka before he ends up as bird stew.

This story by Australian Suzanne Barton is told in a gentle but humorous way. Her plot is fun to follow and becomes increasingly suspenseful when everyone realises the error that has been made.  Her descriptive words are fun and will be very relatable to children and parents who naturally delight in explaining the world in rhyming words, like ‘sticky, licky toffee.’ Suzanne does not overuse this technique, however, and explains other things in a normal, but informative way.

Readers will love the story that Suzanne created for Meeka, and illustrator Anil Tortop must be highly commended on enhancing this story and bringing it to life visually.  Anil’s characters are full of expression that connects the reader with the emotions and feelings being portrayed.  Anil also has fun with illustration, breaking up the ways she interprets the text and by adding visual extras that are a joy to find and to ponder.

This delightful story is guaranteed to be read over and over again. It will be available in bookstores soon but if you just can’t wait and want a copy now, you can contact Suzanne Barton personally at:

Brook Tayla writes a picture book review blog at and would love you to drop by, read some reviews, leave a comment and subscribe.  Brook also offers editing services for beginning and emerging writers.

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