2017 Reviews · Australian · children

Children’s Book Review: The Cassowary’s Gift by Pam Skadins and illustrated by Kathryn Lovejoy

Title: The Cassowary’s Giftthe cassowary gift small.jpg

Author:  Pam Skadins

Illustrator:  Kathryn Lovejoy

Published: July 1st 2016

Publisher: Little Steps Publishing

Pages: 32

Genres:  Children (5+)

RRP: $16.95

There’s a buzz in the rainforest after the animals start seeing new signs about the cassowary. But why is the cassowary so important? Join the rainforest animals as they search for the cassowary and hear his special song about his gift to the forest…

My review:

Little Steps Publishing, with the collaboration of author Pam Skadins and illustrator Kathryn Lovejoy, present us with a colourful children’s picture book, titled The Cassowary’s Gift. A book with an important environmental message to share, The Cassowary’s Gift will delight, incite a laugh or two and very much entertain children aged 3 to 6 years old.

The Cassowary’s Gift asks the reader to consider what is so special about the cassowary and why is this bird a very important (V.I.B.) bird? The animal residents of the rainforest rally together to find out why so much attention has been directed to this strange and illusive bird. The answer, is a humorous but important one, as the animals, as well as the reader, discovers it is all down to the cassowary’s poo! A song and dance is made of the essential role of the cassowary and its special poo, which works to ensure the rainforest continues to thrive.

The Cassowary’s Gift is an enjoyable tale that allows the reader to learn more about the role and special features of the tropical bird, the cassowary, in the form of an accessible children’s picture book. The Cassowary’s Gift is a book that subtly weaves essential environmental and conservation work, within an engaging text. It is a great educational resource, especially for those who want to increase their understanding of this intriguing bird. I know I learnt a thing or two about the cassowary from reading this book.

The Cassowary’s Gift features not only the striking cassowary, who is the main feature of the text, but a band of well known Australian animals. These range from birds such as a noisy pitta and brush turkey, to a wallaby and a quoll. Together, this distinctly Australian collection of animals make the journey through a stunning rainforest locale, to discover why the cassowary has such an important status.

The text and accompanying dialogue contained in The Cassowary’s Gift is readable, accessible and age appropriate. It can be used in a read aloud situation very easily, or enjoyed as an independently read text. Supporting the narrative are the finely drawn illustrations of Kathryn Lovejoy. I loved looking further to discover the minute detail of these stunning illustrations.

In addition to the story, readers will find included a songbook page titled “My Poo’s a Gift” contained at the close of this story. This can also be listened to via the publisher, Little Steps Publishing’s website, or alternatively, a QR to scan to download is featured on the back cover of The Cassowary’s Gift. It does add an extra interactive feature to this story.

I was pleased to find at the end of The Cassowary’s Gift a special bonus section, which contains additional factual based information on the Southern Cassowary. This includes essential information on its diet, status, protection and the central theme of the story, why its poo is so special! Also worth a mention is that proceeds of the sale of The Cassowary’s Gift goes to the Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation. A vital cause and another great reason to select this fantastic children’s book to read.

The Cassowary’s Gift by Pam Skadins and illustrated by Kathryn Lovejoy was published in July 2016 by Little Steps Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.


*I wish to thank the publisher, Little Steps Publishing, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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