Title: Bird to Bird
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Wayne Harris
Published by Black Dog Books, and imprint of Walker Books.

This is an exceptional picture book. Essentially, it is the story of a tree, growing from seed dropped by a bird, taken from the forest after growing to maturity and transported around the world with convicts, to Australia. It was then shaped and used for a variety of purposes, including a weaving loom and part of a building, until finally being carved by an artisan.

The verbal text is in few words, well worked to make room for the illustrations that show and tell so much more. Various viewpoints are employed to position the reader during the storytelling. Colour is used to full effect and framing is also used effectively. This large format picturebook is really wonderful in so many ways.

The possibilities of use in the classroom are many for this book. Some suggestions are…

  1. Make a timeline and plot along the many uses of the tree. Use certain aspects of the visuals, along with research, to ascertain the time period to allocate.
  2. Ask a wood carver, or someone working with wood, to come and visit the classroom to show how wood is carved.
  3. Read the verbal text without showing the pictures. Have the students draw what they hear about the story. Then read the picture book, showing the visuals.

Bird to bird teaching notes from Lamont Books can downloaded here.

Many thanks to Walker Books for supplying this book for review.