Little Puggle's song by Vikki Conley

cover image

New Frontier, 2019. ISBN: 9781912076345.
Little Puggle's Song by Vikki Conley is pretty picture book that tells the story of Puggle (a baby echidna) and how he cannot find his voice.
It follows a fairly familiar storyline where the main character wants to be like everyone else, but is lacking a key feature.
In this instance, Puggle wants to sing just like his friends Little Blue, Fancy Crest, Brown feather and Long tail, join the bush choir and sing the welcome song for the baby emu due to be born at any moment. Sadly he just doesn't seem to have his own song, so watches intently from the side lines.
In the final moments we see Puggle find his place, front and centre, and join the choir!
Overall I thought the story was similar to many I had read before, however it has an Australian twist and some interesting points of conversation along the way. I liked how Puggle called his friends different names to their correct ones (Brown Feather in stead of Kookaburra), and the description of the animals songs throughout the book. Whilst reading the book the students tried to imitate the sounds and also made their own noises.
I really liked the soft, pretty painted illustrations. Helene Magisson's technique brings just the right amount of life into the animals (especially the final choir scene), and shows the plant variety and colours of the Australian bush.
My only issue is the ending (spoiler alert!). I expected to see the choir singing and then a cute baby emu, given a funny nickname by Puggle. Instead it's just Mrs and Mr Emu waiting for the eggs to hatch - I was a little disappointed! I feel that maybe one more page with the babies would have rounded it off nicely.
A good story that may be used for discussions about patience and perseverance, or even Australian animals and their individual songs. Teacher's notes are available.
Lauren Fountain