The Bush Concert, by Helga Visser

It hadn’t rained for a very long time.
Food and water were hard to find.
Everyone was feeling low.
What could they do? Where could they go?

The land is parched and the birds struggle to find food, water and shelter from the relentless summer. A committee of galahs is determined to find a way to cheer everyone up. And that means a concert. The call goes out for singers, dancers, players. All are needed. And they come. So many birds together, so much noise! Maestro Linguini helps to concert-prepare some of the enthusiastic performers. Others do their own thing, while a city-slicker sparrow encourages his choir to sing faster and faster. And then it’s Concert Night. There are singers, dancers, players, acrobats, magicians and more. As the successful concert draws to a close with fireworks, the sky turns on its own fireworks and a storm breaks over their heads. Illustrations are ink and pastel on pastel paper, richly-hued, both fantastical and real.

The Bush Concert tale is told in rhyming couplets. There has never been a gathering of Australian birds quite like this! There are wrens and quail, waterbirds and penguins, pelicans and swans. All are united in their need to survive the drought with humour intact. Beaks are shown smiling, eyes are bright. Jesters wield saws, parrots walk with stilts in this imaginative romp through the bird world. The final opening offers names for all the birds appearing in The Bush Concert. Recommended for preschool and early primary children. Would be useful in introducing the wide range of birds who call Australia home.

The Bush Concert

The Bush Concert, Helga Visser
Omnibus Books 2011
ISBN: 9781862918863

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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