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The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson

I'll confess this, I am not a huge fan of rhyming stories, I prefer rich, dense prose even when it comes to children's books. Plus we speak and read in Italian at home, and I translate that 60% of books in English that we have (true story, that's the only way to keep Italian alive). Obviously rhymes don't work well with crazy translators like me:)
So I have a second confession to make: for the reason above we have watched countless times all the BBC's animated adaptations of Julia Donaldson's bestselling picture books, but we haven't read the stories as often.
However, I bumped into this book last Saturday while hiding inside Primrose Hill Books and decided to make an exception, intrigued by the delicate illustrations. Also,  my eldest daughter is more interested in sound games than ever and she is more receptive to rhymes as she is expanding her English vocabulary and gaining fluency, so she was quite intrigued straight away by this one.


Go-Away birds are common grey and white birds living in open woodlands in Africa making a characteristic loud sound (indeed similar to a 'go-away!') when disturbed.
Julia Donaldson creates a short, utterly enjoyable story around this fun fact: as the go-away bird keeps rejecting the friendship of the other birds, he will approached by a Hawk and saved by the same birds he sent away, finally embracing a happier social life.
The amusing, rhyming text and the unexpectedly elegant, vibrant illustrations both celebrate  rhythm, balancing the clear-cut moral message and inviting the reader to just amuse himself.

A new must-have to read aloud, literally.
-
The Go-Away Bird [7th March 2019]
Words by Julia Donaldson
Illustrations by Catherine Rayner
English-language edition published by Macmillan Children's Books
Reading age: 3+
Themes: Friendship, Cooperation


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