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My Bird Bertie by Amelia McInerny and Shane McGowan

Title: My Bird Bertie

Author: Amelia McInerny and Shane McGowan

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: February 2021

Format: Hardback

Pages: 24

Price: $17.99

Synopsis: 3+

  • ·  From exciting author Amelia McInerney
  • ·  Gorgeous retro illustrations from Shane McGowan
  • ·  A delight to read aloud
  • ·  Themes include companionship, friendship, silliness  and adapting

Riding in the car with my bird, Bertie Riding in the car, just Bertie and me –

The contented couple find that two’s company and three’s a crowd when giggling Gertie gets on board …
then Jiggy Jack and Silly Billy too!

Come along for a ride that gets sillier and noisier and cramped and crowded as more and more passengers join in what was once a relaxing drive round town. Amelia McInerney’s simple and entrancing rhyming text is matched by bright, beautiful retro illustrations from the talented Shane McGowan.


Going for a ride with your friend is fun, right? Well, when the bear and his bird, Bertie, set out on their journey, they are alone and all is well. Yet as the beautiful rhyming story goes on, they are joined by Gertie, Tilly, and Jack – who are jumpy, silly, and make the car feel very crowded. Told through entrancing rhymes like many books aimed at younger readers builds on literacy and reading confidence, whilst celebrating friendship.

Having lots of friends can be a nice thing but as the bear and Bertie find out, sometimes it is nicer to just be alone, just the two of you. Silliness and big groups can be fun, but they can also be overwhelming and this story tells kids and readers that if you get overwhelmed with a social situation, it is okay to take a step back, and just be by yourself or with one other person in a calm and relaxed space without the pressure to be around too many people, even if they are your friends.

Even books that aren’t strictly educational can have an impact on a child’s education and evolution of knowledge and language. Of late, there have been many fantastic kids books that have a delightful story that through the various themes they employ, can teach children about themselves and about the world, and help them learn about language and rhythm. These books can cross generations too, and offer something for all readers.

It promotes companionship and friendship in all its forms, and the rhymes will help children recognise patterns in language and learn to read as they see and hear the repeated sounds and words throughout the book. Coupled with beautiful illustrations that look as though they could be from an earlier decade, this book will make a lovely addition to any collection, and could become a starting point for discussions about friendship and the power of close friends, and what it means to have a friend you can always rely on.

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