The Wishbird, by Gabrielle Wang

The girl’s hands came up to the bars and she gripped them tightly. She was speaking to Boy with her eyes, pleading for help.
Then a strange and beautiful sound came from her throat, rising and falling like the wind. Boy had never heard anything like it.
And yet it was familiar.

Oriole has never left the Forest of Birds. She is happy living here with the Wishbird, Mellow, and all the other birds. But Mellow is ill, and the only way Oriole can save him is by visiting the City of Soulless and seeking the help of the king.

Boy has never left the city. He doesn’t even know what a bird is. When he and Oriole meet it seems like fate – but can two children heal the city, the King and the Wishbird?

The Wish Bird is an exquisite tale of courage, friendship and magic. Boy and Oriole are intriguing characters, each needing to dig deep to overcome the obstacles they face. The land they inhabit, and its residents, are intriguing, and he artwork, pen and ink line drawings by the author, are exquisite.

Suitable for children, The Wish Bird will equally delight all ages.


Book Cover: The Wishbird

The Wish Bird, by Gabrielle Wang
Penguin Australia, 2013
ISBN 9780143307525

Available from good bookstores or online.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Rippin & Regine Abos

The Jade Emperor has decided to hold a great race. teh first twelve animals to cross the river will each have a year named after them. the animals are excited – but tehre are thirteen animals competing, so one will miss out. each animal must use their unique skills – or their wiliness – to get themself across the river.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac is a gorgeous version of a classic Chinese legend, which is both entertaining and educational. Wang’s text captures both the excitement of the race and the character of the thirteen animals, and the illustrations are exquisite. A combination of brush and ink, linocut and digital media creates a satisfying whole with rich oranges and golds prominent. The design and layout makes this a real visual treasure.

First released in 2010, and newly released in paperback, The Race for the Chinese Zodiac is suitable for both private reading and classroom use.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Rippin & Regine Abos
Black Dog, 2012
ISBN 9781742032092

Available from good bookstores or online.

Meet Poppy, by Gabrielle Wang

Blossom’s eyes filled with tears.
‘Don’t cry, Bloss. I have a plan.’
Blossom looked at Poppy. ‘You do?’
‘I’m going to escape, and when I find Gus, we’ll come back to Bird Creek and rescue you … all of you.’

It is 1864 and Poppy is growing up at Bird Creek Mission, outside Echuca. She doesn’t like mission life, but it gets even worse after her brother Gus runs away to go panning for gold. Then Mother Hangtree arranges for her to go and live with a family of strangers, and she knows it’s time that she, too, ran away. It’s her only chance of being reunited with Gus.

Meet Poppy is the first of four stories about Poppy, an orphan of an Aboriginal mother and Chinese father, who must use her wits to survive. Part of the new Our Australian Girl series from Puffin Books, this first story will leave the reader keen to read the next three and find out what happens to Poppy.

Good stuff.

Meet Poppy (Our Australian Girl)

Meet Poppy (Our Australian Girl), by Gabrielle Wang
Puffin Books, 2011
ISBN 9780143305323

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.