This is a multi-layered children’s picture book, written and illustrated by Kae Nishimura, and published by Clarion Books, New York, 2005. I grabbed it from the library on a whim, because dodos resonate with me. I’m so glad I did. I Am Dodo is now officially on my favourite picture books list.
Told from the perspective of the last remaining dodo on our planet, it could have been a tale of despair. Instead it is inspirational, celebrating what happens when individuals make an effort to understand each other.
Although most people believed dodo birds to be extinct, a professor disagrees. He’s right; there is one dodo left, dancing the dodo dance, and living it up in New York. The professor tries to capture him, to prove his claim. But the dodo doesn’t want to be caged.
Nishimura’s cartoon-style illustrations are a joy. As well as the main picture, there are extra inserts to give us more detail and insight. Although her style is naïve, it has depth. My favourite picture is the one where Dodo overhears the professor ranting, and Dodo’s enormous shadow looms on the wall.
With its environmental theme, I Am Dodo would make a great resource for a discussion about biodiversity. Other themes are about finding a place where you belong, individual differences, freedom and friendship. Lots to discuss, lots to enjoy – my kind of picture book!
Book Chook Reminder: Did you catch all of Share a Story - Shape a Future?
There's fascinating reading at Dulemba.com on the Day 5 theme of Technology and Reading: What the Future Holds
You can read Book Chook posts here:
*How to Read Aloud and Wow Your Audience by The Book Chook
*Conquering Stage Fright - an Interview with Sarah Mulhern at the Book Chook blog