The Go-Away Bird

This is picturebook legend Julia Donaldson’s latest rhyming text for young children and her first partnership with illustrator Catherine Rayner. The Go-Away Bird just wants to be left alone. So, as a colourful array of feathered neighbours drop by her nest to say hello, they each are sent on their way with a very honest ‘go away!’ However, when a large bird of prey won’t go away, the Go-Away Bird learns very quickly that it helps to have friends around. Side by side she and her neighbours team together to scare away the predator.

The story is very simple and the characters loveable, thanks to Catherine Rayner’s elegant illustrations. Julia Donaldson’s ever-present song-writing talent and storytelling ability make the book an easy and entertaining read. Catherine Rayner’s art depicts realistic birds that are interesting to look at and appealing.

The take-home message is worth discussing. While the Go-Away Bird appears genuinely remorseful to have sent her friendly neighbours away, and all – seemingly – ends well, she only has a change of heart once she learns that her neighbours are useful to her. So, for adults reading this book to children, it could be interesting to discuss what happens in the story from the points of view of the other birds.

The simplicity of the tale makes it a good precursor to Donaldson’s most famous stories.

Book Cover - The Go-Away Bird
Publication Date
March 2019
Age range