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How to Make a Bird

Book cover of How to Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay

How to Make a Bird

Author: Meg McKinlay

Illustrator: Matt Ottley

Publisher: Walker Books

Meg McKinlay and Matt Ottley’s exquisite collaboration How to Make a Bird will not equip you to create an avian creature. But through the hypnotic poetry of McKinlay’s text and the artwork, both intimate and expansive, of Ottley, you may find yourself equipped for something more powerful – to see beauty and majesty in the smallest, most ephemeral thing; and to have the courage and grace to release it so that it may breathe life. “Breathe deeply and take your time”, we are advised. “The making of a bird is not a thing to be hurried.” McKinlay lures us along a path of creative awareness, using a second-person voice that invokes an almost trance-like state. Ottley, who’d sworn off further collaborations until his agent presented him with McKinlay’s text, uses a gentle, muted palette in imbuing each spread with both the wonder of detail and the endless possibilities of imagination.

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