Review Blog

Aug 06 2013

The wishbird by Gabrielle Wang

cover image

Puffin, 2013. ISBN 9780143307525.
Gabrielle Wang has written and illustrated a beautiful book which I highly recommend for older primary readers and anyone of any age who enjoys fairy tales.
Oriole the young girl with the beautiful singing voice must travel from deep in the forest to save the King of the soulless city where joy has long ago been abandoned. If she does not succeed all will be lost including her beautiful forest and bird friends.
In the city of lost souls lives a young hero, who lives by pick-pocketing for the Fagin like Panther. He is forced by Panther to climb a high fence and spend the night in a haunted mansion, and frightened he wonders who his parents were and where they have been taken to.
Hero glimpses Oriole who has been captured by the evil advisers to the sick King and vows to rescue her. He must use all his courage and strength of character, while Oriole must learn her power and how to use it to save the King and the City.
Gabrielle Wang has created a beautiful fable, wonderfully illustrated by beautiful line drawings which enhance the authentic feel of the story. Populated by magical and heroic characters this is an epic story of Kingdoms won and lost. Wang's language and imagination create a wondrous world of magic and adventure.
The story of how Gabrielle Wang was inspired to write The wishbird will be of interest to the reader, and helps place this as a story from 21st century Australia.
Michael Jongen

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