Review Blog

Apr 30 2014

First flight by David Miller

cover image

Working Title Press, 2014. ISBN 9781921504570.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Australian animals, Family. The story of how the yellow-bellied glider takes its first flight is told in this seemingly simple tale of a baby animal falling from a branch near its nest and having to spread its wings to float to the ground. But nothing about Miller's work is ever simple. His tale takes in the broad sweep of loving families, familial responsibility, friendship and learning to adapt while looking at a number of Australian animals in their environment.
At dawn when all the other night animals snuggle into their nests to sleep, the noise of the birds wakes the baby glider and he ventures out onto the branch where he falls. This forces him to spread his legs and the membrane between allows him to fall smoothly to the forest floor, landing with a bump. Alarmed he must find a quiet out of way place to hide during the rest of the day. From his position he watches some of the other forest animals go about their daily business until night falls, allowing his parents to come and search for him. His little adventure ends happily and he snuggles down for the night as do all gliders.
Miller used watercolour and watercolour pencils to present his images of the forest and the animals in this lovely book which will delight younger readers and stand out from the array of books which teach them about Australian animals.
Fran Knight

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