Jeremy by Chris Faille and illustrated by Danny Snell, published by Working Title Press in 2013.
Jeremy is a baby kookaburra that has fallen out of his nest. The family cat brings him home when he is just a wrinkly little pink ball with closed eyes. The nest is too high to return the bird to, so the family look after him, keeping him warm and feeding him. Jeremy grows feathers, and gets bigger and stronger. All too soon he is ready to face the world on his own.
Jeremy is a heart warming tale of survival, that also serves to introduce the reader to the basics of how a kookaburra develops. The story itself is a simple narrative following Jeremy’s progress from ugly newborn to young adulthood, when he is ready to fend for himself.
Inside the front and back covers, lots of facts about kookaburras are presented, considerably increasing the depth of knowledge gained from this book. The illustrations in Jeremy are an asset to this book, as they are wonderfully life-like, and so detailed. They bring Jeremy to life as he grows and changes.
Several times as a child I found a poor baby bird that had fallen or been pushed from its nest, and tried to save it. None of mine were as lucky as Jeremy though. I was pleased that Jeremy grew into a healthy young kookaburra that could be released back into the wild, despite his shaky start. My preschooler was surprised, having never seen a newly hatched bird, that baby birds have no feathers and are completely defenceless. She enjoyed the extra facts about kookaburras, and I’m pretty sure she learnt some things! As this book is mostly non-fiction disguised as a picture book, I think it would be an excellent tool to help encourage children into reading more non-fiction. Good for curious kids in primary school and preschool, I enjoyed sharing Jeremy with my daughter very much.
* Jeremy was the winner of the 2014 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books category.