Mozzie and Midgie, by Doug MacLeod & Sandy Okalyi

Mozzie and Midgie lived with their family
on the shore of a Queensland tropical island.
The two little spoonbills were happy, until
one day they met a boastful parrot.

Mozzie and Midgie, brother and sister lived happily with their family until a parrot arrived, screeching just how beautiful she was, and how very plain they were. The two spoonbills believed what they were told, that they were not beautiful, were not special, and they set out to make themselves beautiful, like the parrot. They try several ways of being beautiful, wearing costumes of leaves and crabs and even octopus ink. Although their costumes add colour, they do not, Mozzie and Midgie decide, make them beautiful. With the help of their family they discover just what makes spoonbills beautiful, what makes them special. Illustrations are very stylized, using block colours with black outlines.

As children, most of us think we are beautiful and special because our families ensure that we are told so, that we believe so. But there are always others who would build their own sense of being beautiful by comparing themselves favourably with others. So it is here. It is not enough for the parrot to be beautiful, she has to make himself more so by telling Mozzie and Midgie that they are less so. It’s so easy to listen to voices that would diminish us. Fortunately, Mozzie and Midgie’s family are there to remind the young spoonbills what it is that makes them special. There is a gentle message about all animals having a purpose and beauty. The illustrations are striking and gently humorous. They are also downright gorgeous! Recommended for 4-7 year olds.

Mozzie and Midgie

Mozzie and Midgie, Doug MacLeod & Sandy Okalyi
Omnibus Books 2011
ISBN: 9781921504310

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.