Children’s Book Review – Australian Birds

Cover Image for Australian Birds

Australian Birds artwork by Matt Chun

This book was Notable for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

Australia is home to many of the world’s most striking and beautiful birds, including some that are stranger than fiction. In Australian Birds, acclaimed artist Matt Chun showcases 16 remarkable species that have captured the imagination of the world. From the iconic cockatoo, to the endangered Cassowary.

This is a beautiful book.

Each double-page spread has a picture of one of Australia’s many iconic birds, with information about the species and a detailed illustration of the bird’s head.

Each picture is stunning and they look like a mixture of painting and line art. I loved flicking through the book and found each picture captivating. The Australian brush turkey looks like it is staring down the reader. The tawny frogmouth is showing off the beautiful feathers above it’s beak. The sulfur-crested cockatoo is having fun and wants you to join in. The superb fairy-wren is just about to jump off the branch and hop along the ground. The eastern Rosella looks back cheekily at the reader. 

In short, each picture captures the bird and the personality I see of that bird in the wild. I loved the colours and the detail.

The information on each species includes information about their habitat, mating, caring for young, diet, and the way they move. It is short, factual but interesting and is sure to satisfy someone wanting to know a little more about these Australian birds. For instance, I was unaware that a pelican’s bill will turn bright pink, blue, and yellow for a short period of time before they lay their eggs. I am pretty sure I have only seen them with their ‘regular’ pink bills but I will certainly be looking out for this change from now on.

I found this book interesting and great to look at. It’s a good choice for sharing with young children who are interested in birds. The information is short but captures your attention. The pictures are large and detailed; good for kids who want to see more. In addition, the book is a great one for coming and going. One day you can read about a sulphur-crested cockatoo but you don’t need to read every page – each one is self-contained. Which is especially good for young children whose attention span is still growing.

I would share this book with anyone 2+ and bird-watchers young and old.

If this book makes you hunger for more information about birds you can check out the non-fiction books at any of our libraries under the Dewey number 598 which is where we keep all of our bird books. And if you’d like to get out-and-about we also have Bird ID and Birdwatching Toolkits available to borrow.