My mum teaches me
To laugh with the sunrise.
Kaa, Kaa, Kaa
Will you catch me breakfast, Mum?
A baby kookaburra and mother begin the day early, singing to the sunrise. The pair move through the day together, mother caring for and teaching her baby. Each activity they share is accompanied by the sounds these activities might make, eg flying ‘across the cloudy sky. Swoop, Swoop, Swoop’. When Mama kookaburra reveals a final secret, Baby kookaburra offers one too. Illustrations are stylised and full of bright, engaging colours. Endpapers offer a colourful night sky and suggest the cycling day and night.
Baby kookaburra makes statements about his world and his learning on the left page of each opening and questions are held for the right-hand page of each spread. This structure encourages speculation about what the answer will be and how it will be answered. Listeners are offered the opportunity to join in the movement sounds, and/or act them out. My Mum’s Special Secret is pitched for pre-schoolers and offers information about an iconic Australian animal wrapped up in the relationship between a parent and a child.
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller