Review Blog

Jul 10 2014

The dawn chorus by Suzanne Barton

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408839218.
(Age: 3-5) Warmly recommended. Birds. Music. Dawn. The swirling lines of music on the endpapers take the readers into the story, as they follow the tale of the music which accompanies the rising of the sun each morning.
When Peep wakes one morning he can hear the most wonderful singing and goes from one animal to another asking who is making this beautiful sound. No one can help, the owl hooting that it isn't him, the mouse squeaking that it isn't her, but the frog thinks that it comes from over there. Looking up, Peep notices that there are many birds in the tree above his head, singing together. When he asks what is happening, they tell him that they are the dawn chorus, singing in the day. Peep asks if he can join in, and is told to come back in the morning to audition. After practising all night, he returns in the morning, only to find that he is too late. But the next morning he sleeps in as well, and finds that he can sing well at night, because he is a nightingale, a bird that sings at night, not the morning.
A lovely story of doing what you are meant to do, of finding your own niche in the world. The dawn chorus is beautifully illustrated with soft watercolour images that float across the page. Younger readers will thrill to the story read out loud, following Peep's attempts to find where he belongs, going from one animal to another to follow the music that he hears, knowing that music is his life.
Fran Knight

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