Saturday 8 April 2023

Bowerbird Blues

Bowerbird Blues by Aura Parker (Scholastic) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781761205637

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Bowerbird Blues is a story about a bowerbird on his pursuit to find blue items to decorate his bower. He searches high and low to add to his collection but no matter how much he finds he believes it is never enough…something is missing.

Aura Parker’s artwork is simply divine, and the front cover deserves to be on prominent display in every primary school classroom, library, bookshop, and children’s bedroom everywhere! The cover is embossed and gorgeously tactile, the blue foil title is striking when it catches the light, and the blue and brown colour palette is surprisingly stunning. The exquisite artwork, created using digital and traditional watercolour, appears as spot illustrations as well as single and double-page spreads.

Once the reader has admired the beautifully detailed artwork in the endpapers there is a lot to discuss and interact with. The contrasting colour palettes between the start and end is a great talking point, and a bowerbird challenge is set for young readers to find the listed items hidden within the endpapers’ illustrations.

Bowerbird Blues is a lovely picture book that portrays the unique scavenging habits of male bowerbirds to attract a female mate. The illustrations extend the text by highlighting plastic pollution as a threat to the environment and wildlife. This book would appeal to nature lovers and an audience aged 4 years and older.

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