Friday 5 March 2021

My Bird, Bertie

My Bird, Bertie by Amelia McInerney, illustrated by Shane McG (Scholastic) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN 978 1 74383511 1

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

My Bird, Bertie is a picture book that is a treat to read aloud. The story builds wonderfully as two take a relaxing ride in the car that becomes funnier as more passengers join in. This story starts and ends with two riding together. I won’t give the clever ending away.

Amelia McInerney’s simple and engaging text uses rhyme, alliteration, and repetition to great effect. I particularly love giggling Gertie as this is often a term used with a child when they have a fit of the giggles. Just like a song, the young reader can confidently join in with the story and have a load of fun. The rhyme also helps the young reader to remember and predict the text. The story repeats and builds and a young reader can quickly engage and understand the story pattern. Much Like There was an old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly this type of story is popular with pre-schoolers. Amelia has cleverly allowed plenty of room for the illustrator to play and be inventive. She has created a child-like world that is imaginative.  

The illustrator Shane Mc G has used a bold retro style that pops on each page. The cartoon-like characters and clever use of space on each spread draw the eye and bring a smile of delight. Bertie’s adoring looks at Bear show their special bond. Their facial expressions of tolerance as the others join their ride are hilarious. The looks between the two when they solve the problem of unwanted passengers are priceless. If you take the time to study the illustrations you can find a worm, a bird, a cat and even a dog on some spreads. Shane’s use of perspective adds to the movement and drama of the story and the retro colours give the whole book a cartoon like feel.

My bird, Bertie is a picture book for children 3-8 years that is filled with rollicking fun. It is a book that is engaging and easy to read which parents and teachers alike will appreciate. 

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