The Go-Away Bird lives up to his name. Whenever he is approached by any of the other birds keen to be friends, to talk and play, he tells them to go away. So they do. But everyone needs friends. What will happen when the Go-Away Bird is faced with a situation that will not go away?
Here Julia Donaldson is on the top of her form, delivering a crisp rhyming text with the satisfying chorus of ‘Go away, go away, go away’ where the audience can join in. And there is plenty more repetition for the presenter to enjoy. It is presented in a bold clear font that is a pleasure to read, beautifully placed on the page against an uncluttered, unobtrusive ground. However, the text is only one element. Bringing an added dimension and life to the narrative are the illustrations by Catherine Rayner. Her spiky outlines capture the difficult character that is the Go-Away Bird, his expression one of disapproval and annoyance. Her palette is clear and colourful – never dull or muddy; her characters fill the page (look at the looming presence of the eagle).From the moment we, the reader opens the book, we find ourselves in the leafy world of the birds, both end covers decorated with the feathery fronds of the tree that is the home of the Go-Away Bird. This is a perfect marriage of word and illustration, author and illustrator and should become another triumph for both. An outstanding addition to any library whether home, school or public.