Children learn about wildlife

by Lucy Martin, Daily Mercury

Those crazy birds are at it again.
Mackay author Daryl Barnes has released his second children’s book and again it focuses on birds and wildlife in Mackay and surrounding areas.

The new book, Crazy Bird Stories – Benny’s Dreamtime Adventure, tells a single story, and there it differs from his first publication, Crazy Bird Stories, which is a collection of 12 short stories. Using poetry, Mr Barnes tells the story of a lonely bird looking for a more adventurous life.

“Benny is a very shy bird who is looking for a more exciting life,” Mr Barnes said. “Benny falls asleep and dreams that he is in a zoo and watching the other animals perform for the humans.”
He is soon discovered by the zoo keeper and makes a run for it.

Mr Barnes said the moral of the story was, as the saying went, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

He said the book was inspired while he was sitting at Finlayson’s Point, near Seaforth, watching the beach stone curlew’s solitary behaviour in the tidal mud flats.
“There were no other birds visible,” he said
The beach stone curlew could be found in locations including Finlayson’s Point, Mr Barnes said, but because of their shy nature they were becoming harder to find on the mainland.

It wasn’t a handsome bird but still deserved to be the star of its own book, he said.

“The reason I’ve used it as the main character is to help raise its profile and (create) awareness to highlight the issues surrounding its existence, where habitat pressures by man are forcing it to more remote areas of the east coastline of Australia,” he said.

“Its breeding habitats also make it very vulnerable as the female lays one or maybe two eggs amongst the high tide debris.”

Like the first Crazy Bird Book, the second also includes animal facts at the back of the book about animals featured.

Once again, Mr Barnes has also included the elusive fairy wren silhouette hidden on each page. He said it added something extra to the book and was a fun exercise for the children to find the hiding bird.

The rhyming words have also been coloured to red to be an educational tool and teach young readers about words that sound familiar.

The book will be available in coming weeks and launched on a date to be announced.
Mr Barnes said both books could be found at the Mackay Tourism Centre and through the Crazy Birds Facebook Page.