Sue Saliba’s Alaska was one of the first review books I ever received; I have fond memories with the time I spent with it, and it’s possibly because of this and some other factors that I tried so hard to keep reading For the Forest of a Bird when I knew it wasn’t working for me. I dearly wanted to be able to at least finish it, but unfortunately that didn’t work out and I ended up reading… nearly half, before deciding to stop.
Nella is the protagonist of FtFoaB; she is fifteen and lives with her controlling, moody older brother and her mentally ill mother, after her father left the family. She goes to a creek in her town and awaits the return of the swallows, and just when she finally decides to tell her father, to show him the magic of her secret, like she’s planned to for years, there is an accident and Nella’s perspective changes over the course of all that happens.
I wasn’t sure of Nella. I liked her passion, but I felt mostly worried and concerned for her- living with a mother whose mental stability seemed dangerously fragile and a brother who seemed to have an aura of “dark” about him, she had so much going on and a lot of hope, but I felt as if her hope made her practically delusional at times, and she also seemed rather childish; I struggled with her voice and the direction it took the story.
I adore the cover, though, and was tremendously excited to see it- it’s such a lovely array of colour, texture and type.
Thank you to Penguin for this review copy!
Image Source: Penguin.
Thank you to Murdoch Books and Allen and Unwin for this review copy!
Image Source: Allen and Unwin.
Oh. Simply oh. Italics and all. This was, truly, quite lovely. The colours are vibrant and the art feels like I've stepped into one of those lovely picture books from the 60s and 70s, with shapes made from block colours, all put together to create a distinct shape or thing. This was fun, too, all about teaching first readers to count and read and name things (people, seasons, numbers, animals) and I can tell that this will be such a fantastic book for teaching, being captivating in it's design- brilliant for teaching how enjoyable learning is and can be.
I thought it was great! I loved the use of colour, the style of the art, the distinctness of it all; it is a book I like now and one I would have liked even more as a child. Also, it shows you 100 things, and it's startling how few that seems to be!