cover image You and the Bowerbird

You and the Bowerbird

Maria Gianferrari, illus. by Maris Wicks. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-84987-8

As playful as it is informative, this simplified graphical narrative combines the labeled sketches of a child’s field journal with mildly slapstick incidents in the life of an Australian satin bowerbird. Satin, as the child calls the bird, builds an elaborate twig bower and collects blue objects to attract green-feathered Pea, a prospective mate (“A rosella parrot feather waits like a welcome mat”). When other male bowerbirds loot the installation, the child—a note-taker portrayed with brown skin—surreptitiously donates a blue sock to replace the lost swag. Gianferrari’s lively descriptions and surprised exclamations establish a breezy tone (continued in “Bower Power” back matter), while Wicks varies angles and perspectives, sometimes supplying a birder’s view in goggle-shaped “binocular” panels. Comical cartoons and an enthusiastic documentary voice make for a splendid and informative read-aloud. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)