CSIRO Publishing produce fabulous books and these three titles about our feathered friends are perfect for young animal enthusiasts.
Swifty: The Super-Fast Parrot; Stephanie Owen Reeder, illustrated by Astrid Hicks
Swifty and her young siblings live in the blue-gum forests of Tasmania. As she grows from hatchling to fledgling, she has a lot to learn. Flight must be mastered, food must be found. Then it will be time to make the long trip north, guided by the blossom trail across the Bass Strait all the way to the south-eastern coast. The journey is not an easy one and dangers come in many forms; predators, the weather, windows. As Winter becomes Spring, the long migration south begins. Will she make it? Can she find a new tree to call home…
Swoop; Nicole Godwin, illustrated by Susannah Crispe
During breeding season, Magpie has only one job. Guard the eggs from threats. The dangers come in many forms, often in disguises, to try and steal the precious treasure. But Magpie will not be fooled. He knows how to spot the up-to-no-gooders and has his ‘swoopety swoop’ down to perfection. It is enough to scare off most. But what will happen when the determined rock-throwers arrive? Will Magpie’s persistence be enough? Can he keep the eggs safe long enough for them to hatch…
On the Trail of the Plains-wanderer; Rohan Cleave, illustrated by Julian Teh
Hidden under a small clump of grass on the flat, dry plains sits a bird. A bird that is unique. The only member of their family tree, there is no other bird like them. The bird is the Plains-wanderer. And wander the plains it does. But only when the coast is clear. Threats are everywhere; feeding is risky, breeding is impossibly dangerous and the weather extremes can be brutal. Survival isn’t easy. But with the odds stacked firmly against it, survive it does…
Take flight with Swifty, Magpie and the Plains-wanderer. These three stories of vastly different birds who sit in wildly different areas on the endangered list - Magpies are plentiful whilst the Swift Parrot and the Plains-wanderer are critically endangered with their numbers in the wild below one thousand - afford young readers the opportunity to learn about and better understand Australian birds in the most delightful of ways.
There is nothing bird-brained here; the three feathered friends delivering engaging stories that entertain, educate and encourage readers to find out more and to take action by doing whatever they can to ensure that these birds not only survive, but can thrive in the wild.
Delightfully informative, each brilliant read helps children to appreciate and care for birds in their local area. By the end, readers will be clued up on the reasons for magpies swooping, what makes the fastest parrot in the world so remarkable, and why a statuesque bird that lives on the dry, flat plains is so unique and how it incredibly manages to survive against all odds.
Simple and accessible text, colourful and glossy illustrations, joyful endpapers, plenty of bonus content and informative back-matter, and a glossary of definitions that links to words highlighted in bold all help to get kids excited about birds and sympathetic to their plight. Free to download Teacher Notes to support each book can be found by clicking on these links: Swifty; Swoop; On the Trail of the Plains-wanderer
If we can better understand the animals that we share the planet with then we will be better equipped to ensure that we do not destroy their habitats, their livelihoods and can take the necessary precautions to protect against loss of species and the need to confine wild animals to zoos and sanctuaries. Books like this are essential as the responsibility of protecting the planet and its wildlife falls to future generations. If we can get these reads, and others from CSIRO, into the hands of as many youngsters as possible then there may be hope and a brighter future for some of the world’s most precious animals.
Recommended for 5+.
With huge thanks to CSIRO Publishing for the copies I received in exchange for honest reviews.
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