Colour for curlews by Renee Treml

cover image

Random House, 2013. ISBN 9781742759210.
Two somewhat drab but curious curlews find an artist's brush and some paint, and run off with yellow, red and blue. It's not long before they are no longer drab. Then Bowerbird gets busy with the blue paint, and Brolga with the red and suddenly this trend has gone viral! So many colours and so much fun, and off they go to show their friends. Then along comes the very tired wombat from Renee's first book and puts his body down for a nap, right where the paints have all merged into a brown puddle. But those curious curlews that caused him so much grief in that first book come back... and they have paint brushes!!!
Ms Treml seems to have her finger on just what makes a great picture book for younger readers. Rhythmic, rhyming text, colour, humour, fun, an ending that leaves room for the imagination and some tidbits about the birds is the bonus and could lead to an interesting investigation of why birds have colours, and how there were so many variations from just three tubes of paint.
Living where I do, I see a range of beautifully coloured birds every day - they have certainly dipped into a paint palette as rich as Ms Treml's imagination!
Barbara Braxton