That Bird Has Arms

Judges Comments

This quirky story oozes originality. It embraces popular culture, such as social media and popularity contests and cleverly explores themes of identity and accepting difference through the main character, Roy, a bird with human-like arms. The use of language is sophisticated and engaging, featuring direct speech of the avian characters alongside more traditional narration. The high-quality, colourful and engaging illustrations represent characters effectively and provide a clever sub-text to the narrative, including gentle humour appropriate for a dual audience. There is pleasing symmetry between the text and visual elements that embodies the mood and enhances the narrative. The plot that follows Roy coming to terms with his difference, as well as others’ eventual acceptance of him includes a joy-filled resolution.

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