The Black Cockatoo With One Feather Blue


Confidence can
be a frail commodity for many of us, but, perhaps, particularly for little
people. And, as a result, it is easy to imbue a particular object with special
qualities that make us feel braver, stronger and smarter – whether professional
golfer with a lucky tee or a toddler with a security blanket.

Black Cockatoo has a very special blue
feather. Of course, she has gorgeous black, red and yellow feathers as well,
but she knows it is that one blue feather that gives her amazing skills of
swooping and looping, soaring and sailing through the skies over her valley.
All the other animals are completely in awe of her dazzling displays.

So when she
wakes up one morning and discovers her special blue feather is GONE!, she is
completely distraught, and feels both sad and alone.

 Luckily the bush creatures are only too
willing to help her find it. Brave kangaroo, wise emu and the kind quolls all
join in the search and when they discover it was the cheeky bowerbird who took
the blue feather, the mystery is solved.

Black Cockatoo
is so happy to have found her feather, but when Bowerbird’s beautiful
collection of blue objects is suddenly whirled away in a willy-willy, leaving
only the blue feather jauntily in his beak, she suddenly realises that she is
just as special minus her lucky token. Being brave, wise and kind doesn’t
depend on having a blue feather, just as our confidence doesn’t rest in any
trinket we own. 

This is a
delightful rhyming read-aloud with an easy, almost musical, flow to the text
that is often lacking in other picture books of a similar format. The
illustrations are superb, as one would expect from one of Australia’s leading
flora and fauna artists with beautiful composition of text and illos. 

The
setting for this, and the earlier books, particularly resonate with me – knowing
and loving the Blue Mountains so much and with close family living in the area
– and Eloise captures the beauty of this backdrop wonderfully. The themes of
friendship, resilience and identity plus the connection with nature are ones
that will easily transfer to either home or classroom setting and offer
children much to consider.

You can hear
the creators speak about this new book as well as their others
here. You can also read more about Australia’s black
cockatoos, including the red-tail star of this narrative,
here.  I’m in love
with this stunner, and I highly recommend it to you. 

Title: The Black Cockatoo With One Feather Blue
Author: Jodie McLeod
Illustrator: Eloise Short
Publisher: Wollemi Press, $24.95
Format: Hardback
Date of Publication: July 2023
ISBN: 9780646874708
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book



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