How to Make a Bird
Matt Ottley (Text: Meg McKinlay)
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781925381894
Awards Year: 2021
Category: The Picture Book of the Year
Judge's Critique
Detailed, delicate and gently philosophical; in its movement from the practical to the universal this book suggests that there is more to a life than replicated parts. McKinley and Ottley expand poignantly on the wonder of migratory birds while alluding to all-encompassing issues such as climate change in the illustrative reference to a house built high above the tide. There is a subtle but definite suggestion to take chances and breathe life into new ideas — perhaps the house so high is a reference to the child living with her head in the clouds, perhaps it is simply the place she goes to explore her ideas.