This bittersweet,true story is beautifully told by first-time writer Matt Owens and Emma Gustafson’s realistic illustrations complement it well. The author rescued an injured baby magpie, who quickly became part of his family and the constant companion of his cat. Of course, the magpie had to eventually rejoin the world of birds and this heart-breaking (to me anyway) ending is softened by the last sentence “But sometimes - just sometimes - she still pays a visit to her first home by the sea.”
Matt has created narrative interest and tension which compel readers to keep going. This book would be great for young readers because the vocabulary and sentence structure is generally not complicated, while still varied enough to be interesting.
Title: The Story of Swoop
Author: Matt Owens
Illustrator: Emma Gustafson
Format: Paperback Picture book
Publication: February 2022
Age Range: Preschool and Early Primary
Do you have any advisory warnings? No
Reviewer: Carola Crawford, English teacher, Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College, Kaiapoi
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: As firefighter Matt drove down the country road, something in his rear-view mirror caught his eye.
You can buy this book here