Bold text in simple rhyme, an easy to read storyline akin to Diterlizzi’s Some Pets and Some Bugs, and striking illustrations. Spink’s birds are stars in this delightful read. Black outlines, abstract patterns and bright colours instead of feathers. My mind wandered to dream of Kandinsky, beautiful mosaics, rose windows in gothic churches, then on to moments of waiting and doodling from my childhood. My kids were eager to illustrate their own bird—one flying free. This is an excellent beyond the book activity. For younger kids, draw the black outlines and patterns yourself and get your kids to colour in the bird’s mosaic feathers.
The use of negative space for bird eyes and amongst patterns makes the illustrations appear somewhat translucent. Spink plays with scale, opposition, encourages the reader to imagine what’s going on beyond the borders of the page, and amuses with lively rhyme and a little humour. While birds aren’t named, many of them are recognisable—an eagle, woodpecker, and our favourite—penguins.