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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Kian is a cockatoo, a very noisy bird. Kian lives in a zoo with all kinds of other animals. He doesn’t like living in the zoo. But he does like to sing and that’s what he does all day long. He only sings sad songs, though, because he misses his home in Timbuktu. That is until the opportunity to escape presents itself and Kian manages to escape from his cage. Then the adventure begins. He’s determined to find his way home. He flies all around the world and visits many interesting places along the way, but there’s no place like home and that’s where he’s headed. Finally, his adventure pays off when he hears his parents singing a song of longing for their long-lost son, Kian.
William AE Ford’s picture book story, The Cockatoo From Timbuktu, is a delightful read. Written in rhyming verse and accompanied by colorful illustrations, this story is a pleasure to read and share with youngsters. As Kian the cockatoo makes his journey home, he has many adventures along the way and manages to see some fascinating sights around the world, like Times Square and the Egyptian pyramids. But the power to lure Kian home is too strong and he ventures on. Although the story is a fun read, there is lots to learn, like the many places Kian visits on his journey and some interesting tidbits about cockatoos and, of course, about Kian’s destination, Timbuktu. The young reader will also learn that animals have feelings and being kept in a confined space like a zoo might make them unhappy, like Kian. What’s not shared in the story is added at the end of the book as some “Fun Facts”. A real treasure.