Carmichael's journey by Shelly Fussell

cover image

Ill. by Samantha Metcalfe. Little Steps Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9781925545692
(Age: 4+) Themes: Environment, Conservation, Native birds, Cockatoos, Loss of habitat. An earnest look at the plight of the Carnaby's Cockatoo is revealed in this picture book telling of its reduced habitat. We follow the birth of a young chick, secure in its nest in the tall trees, having its mother stay with it while its father goes away for food. But we learn that his journey takes longer and longer to find the food for his family, and when Carmichael and his parents leave for the summer to go to their traditional feeding grounds by the sea, they fill up on nuts and seeds and grasses. But on their return to where Carmichael was born they find that their trees have been chopped down, the land is clear of woods, other birds are looking for a foothold. The family, now only two after the male is hit by a truck, eventually finds a place to stay but the lesson is there for all readers to absorb, that we are destroying the habitat of these magnificent birds. Throughout the story, embedded in the text, are facts which children will love to pick up about the cockatoos, their habitat and habits.
The end of the book has a dedication to the volunteers who look out for these animals, and play a place in rescuing them, and the last page gives the reader a more scientific outline to the plight of the Carnaby's Cockatoo.
The illustrations show the cockatoos in their environment using an almost naive style, but the drawings of the people are not as successfully depicted.
Fran Knight