In the moonlight, Mother Bilby canters – tail aloft like a banner – across the spinifex and enters a steeply sloping, spiral tunnel. She flings the dirt back, hind feet together, closing the entrance to her burrow.
It’s time for the birth of her baby.
Bilby Secrets traces the life of a young bilby from its birth in a burrow beneath the ground, to being fully grown and living alone, ready to mate. Using the picture book format, the text focuses on one specific bilby, but recounts this is a typical bilby’s life rather than a fictional story. Each page also includes facts about bilbies, printed in italics.
Mark Jackson’s mixed media illustrations bring not just the cute bilby, but also other desert residents – from predators such as the fox, to insects and spiders, little details which can be found on most spreads. the colours are the colours of the West Australian Pilbara region – orange and red dirts, blue and dusky skies (the bilby is nocturnal) and, of course, the greys of the bilbies.
This hardcover offering is part of Walker’s wonderful new <>Nature Storybook series, set to be a wonderful educational tool but equally suitable for home reading.
Bilby Secrets, by Edel Wignell & Mark Jackson
Walker Books, 2011
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.