Review of Little Bird's Day

Little Bird’s Day
by Sally Morgan; illus. by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr
Primary    Blue Dot Kids    32 pp.    g
10/21    978-1-7362264-6-9    $18.95

As soon as the sun peeks above the horizon, a silver-crowned friarbird alerts the denizens of Australia’s Arnhem Land region that the day has begun. Aboriginal writer Morgan (who “belongs to the Palyku people”) offers a spare, lyrical text that captures the quotidian action: “Here comes Sun rising and shining. Time to stretch, Little Bird, time to sing the world alive.” Little Bird’s warbling causes the water buffalo, cranes, dingoes, lizards, snakes, kangaroos, and echidnas to stir. The friarbird rides on the wind, feasts on crimson blossoms, and chases its avian pals through the clouds. A passing rainstorm allows the creature to wash its feathers and, at dusk, to make its way home to roost with its family in a “welcoming tree,” with dreams of flying among the stars. Malibirr’s visually arresting, graphically stylized acrylic paintings are done in an earth-toned color palette of red, yellow, ochre, black, and white. The Yolngu artist uses a traditional design to create distinctive and eye-catching animals adorned with intricate crosshatching and placed on solid backgrounds. From two Indigenous creators, this gorgeous glimpse at the land Down Under will have broad appeal.

From the January/February 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.