Saturday 1 May 2021

The Bird in the Herd

The Bird in the Herd by Kathryn Apel, illustrated by Renee Tremi (UQP) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9780702262944

 Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

Have you ever been on a cattle drive? And even if you have, did you notice all the activity around you, from the bugs on the ground to the drover in the saddle? The Bird in the Herd invites both city dwellers and country folk along on the ride.

A familiar compounding narrative along the lines of Mem Fox’s Shoes from Grandpa, the joy in this book is in the details, from the spread of animals and their diverse actions, the book design highlighting the rhyming pairs, and the laugh-out-loud twist at the end.

The illustrations perfectly complement the simple storyline, offering colourful but gentle renderings with character, detail and a creative sense of composition and angle.

A treasure trove of language learning, with repetition, rhyme, and evocative vocabulary throughout, this book will appeal to city and country kids aged 3 years through junior primary school, along with their parents and teachers. An activity pack for the classroom is available.

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