Friday 18 February 2022

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue by Trevor Todd (words) and Mark Eatwell (images) (IP Kidz) ISBN 978 1 922 33272 1 RRP $26.00 HB $13.00 ebook

Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

Feeling Blue is a picture book with stunning photographs of birds, in the style of a small coffee table book. 

The story gets straight to the point. Mr Wren is blue and not just in the way he looks, but the way he feels. He’s been looking at the other birds and feeling insecure. Mrs Wren tries to cheer him up (even though she’s the one who should be feeling bad, because she doesn’t get to be the beautiful blue colour her husband is). And once Mr Wren realises all the good things about himself, he feels much better.

The photography in this book is very appealing and includes close-ups of the Wren family and their beautiful rainforest surroundings. The babies’ feathers look so soft! Along with the wrens, are other birds: a kookaburra, magpie, owl, cockatoo, robin, and eagle. The words match the pictures in a lovely way, for example, when Mrs Wren cuddles up close to her husband and says she can help him.

The play on words, with the extremely blue coloured wren and the sadness he feels, is simple but effective. The message, encouraging kids to look at what they have, not what they don’t have, is also important. The naturalness of this book particularly stands out, highlighting the beauty of Australia’s wildlife and the environment they live in.

The author, Trevor Todd has a significant background in film, TV drama and has written fourteen books. Mark Eatwell’s photos and videos of wildlife have appeared in many places including the ABC and Australian Geographic. Feeling Blue is a successful collaboration of their work. It is suitable for 3-8-year-olds. 

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