Title: The Bird in the Herd

Author: Kathryn Apel

Illustrator: Renée Treml

Publisher: University of Queensland Press – UQP

Publication date: March 2, 2021

Themes: Rhyme, farming, visual literacy

Additional notable information: Teachers’ Notes can be downloaded from the UQP website. There is also a fabulous Activity Pack that caters for a diverse range of learning styles. This Activity Pack is chock full of fun and creative activities as well as games. Some of the activities included involve: creating finger puppets, imaginative play that has been designed to get students moving and is inspired by the animals in the story, as well as a manipulative play idea where children are invited to create a miniature droving scene to recreate the story.

The Bird in the Herd by Kathryn Apel and Renée Treml is a delightful picture book that will captivate readers as they are transported to a farm with a cast of animals. This story is written in cumulative rhyming verse with couplets added before repeating the previous verses. This lends itself to children enthusiastically joining in as they become familiar with the repetition and rhythmic text. The rhyming words are boldly coloured in primary colours.

This story begins with a herd of cows who stir the slugs and bugs. A bird takes advantage of this situation as it spies these critters and swoops down to eat the slugs and bugs (notice the illustration where the reader sees the shadow as the bird approaches the land). This sets off a chain of activity on the farm and the reader is introduced to a dog, horse and drover going about their business until the serenity is broken with a noisy visitor which creates a ruckus on the once peaceful farm.

The astute reader will delight in the bright, lively sun-soaked illustrations as they observe additional information about life on the land.

This story lends itself to:

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