As darkness falls, two tawny frogmouths fly into the forest to find food.
Far above the ground, four large eyes appear.
Lyla and Reggie are alone.
When their parents go out each night to hunt for food, Lyla and Reggie are alone. But instead of being afraid, or even waiting patiently, they use the time to discover what they can do for themselves – and eventually surprise their parents by learning to fly.
Baby Tawnies is a sweet picture book story about independence and courage, with a uniquely Australian take on the topic. The characters are tawny frogmouths, nocturnal Australian birds often mistaken for owls. Back of book notes provide further information about this unique bird. But it is the story which kids will enjoy. The baby tawnies are cared for by their parents, but it is when they are alone that they must find courage and support each other. It is lovely that it is the girl sibling, Lyla, who takes the lead and encourages her brother, in a subtle toast to girl power.
Also lovely is the artwork, with the characters rendered in felt with dark digital backgrounds refelcting the colours of the night. This unusual artwork is both endearing and clever.
A sweet book sure to be treasured.
Baby Tawnies, by Judy Paulson
Random House, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.