Kids’ Book Review: Review: The Forgotten Song

Forgotten Song
is exquisitely beautiful, with both words and
illustrations seeming to ooze hope, ingenuity and wonder.

The story describes
the yearning of a Regent honeyeater to find his ancient song and explains the
unusual and successful human intervention, which eventually ignites his music

Vass’s sparkling words accompanied by Jess Racklyeft’s inspired and uplifting
illustrations, which include the use of one-hundred year old photos, bring this picture book to life in the most joyful of ways.

Regent knew
it was time to find a partner and make a nest.

He was now
old enough to sing the ancient song himself, but he couldn’t remember the tune.

And no one
was left to remind him.

The narrative
tells us the history of Regent and shows how birdsong is handed down from one
generation of honeyeaters to the next. With a seamless balance of fun and
information, the words are a delight to read and hear out loud. We know that
Regent is ready to sing for a mate, and we watch as he mimics other birds in
the hope of finding his own music.

The mixed
media illustrations have been created with a cheerful and energising colour
palette; some with the subtle inclusion of historic habitat photos. The
presentation of birdsong as artwork on the page is incredible and uses
feather-shaped, organic speech bubbles that contain the perfect markings and
colours for different birds to sing and dance across the page. These gorgeous
representations will make you hear bird calls inside your head!

Sadly, the
Regent honeyeater (previously known as the warty-faced honeyeater among other
unflattering names!) is on the endangered list and we can all do our part to
help reclaim habitat and care for their environment.  

glossary of scientific terms, artist notes, further facts about the Regent
Honeyeater and visual timeline in the back of the book, are welcome bonus
resources. And of course, there are Teacher Notes aligned to the Australian
Curriculum which are free for download.

With deeper
layers around finding your own voice, standing in your power and trusting the
process (whatever that is), this wonderful book covers a lot of important


The Forgotten Song – Saving The Regent Honeyeater

Author: Coral Vass
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Publisher: CSIRO $24.99
Publication Date: April 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781486316403
For ages: 5 – 9
Type: Picture Book

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