Nog The Nag Bird, by Gordon Reece

Nog hated being a nag bird. He hated his big yellow beak and stupid little wings, but most of all he hated his enormous orange feet.
Nog wanted to be like the tweetzie birds, tall and slim and beautiful.

When Nog finds a beautiful pink shell on the beach, it reminds him of the tweetzie birds’ beaks, and it gives him an idea. With the shell, a red dress, some big leaves and two long branches, Nog reincarnates himself as a tweetzie bird. But, when a squonky cat comes visiting, Nag finds out that it’s hard to run when you have stilts for legs. It doesn’t take him long to realise that his big ugly feet are very useful for outrunning the squonky cat. Perhaps it isn’t so bad being a nag bird, after all.

Nog the Nag Bird is a fun picture book with an important message – that everyone has something to be proud of. The message, though, is a subtle one – young children will just enjoy the absurdity of the bird trying to change who he is by dressing up. Author/illustrator Gordon Reese has created delightful characters – the nag birds are endearingly silly, the tweetzie birds have beautiful wings but appear suitably vain and the squonky cat is scary, but not too scary. There are plenty of bold oranges throughout the illustrations, making them bright and appealing, and the text is simple.

Great for reading aloud.

Nog The Nag Bird, by Gordon Reece
Lothian, 2006