Friday 19 January 2024

Bowerbird Blues

Bowerbird Blues by Aura Parker (Scholastic) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781760269609

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera 

Bowerbird likes collecting blue objects, but something is missing. He searches high and low. The sky is azure, but he cannot hold it. The sea is sapphire, but it is too cold. When he washes ashore, he is surrounded by a bounty of cobalt items – enough to build a beautiful bower. Only then does he find what he is seeking … the green of budding love.

Aura Parker’s dynamic text takes flight on wings of alliterative verbs: ‘swooping, snatching, scouring, scavenging’. This draws readers aged three to seven into the tale, and brings to life the intriguing existence of Australia’s satin bowerbird. With its lyrical quality, it is no wonder that Bowerbird Blues has been chosen as the National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2024. 

Unsurprisingly, Aura’s images brim with brilliant blue tones. The endpapers even offer youngsters the chance to look for blue pegs, bottle caps and bread tags. However, when melancholy envelops the bowerbird, the gloom of grey washes over the pages; love later arrives in a blush of sanguine bliss. Colour conveys a depth of emotion beyond the reach of mere words. 

Bowerbird Blues weaves the vivid threads of story and science into a scintillating literary sanctuary. Children will adore spending time with the busy bowerbird, ever soaring towards hope and happiness.

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