Here’s a little creation myth for anyone who’s ever wondered how we got so many different kinds of birds. It seems that Mother Nature made them all the same at the beginning, just basic little white birds of various sizes. Then she let the monkeys do the decorating.
Over the next 18 pages the little white birds get painted, stretched, poked and prodded until they become the many species we know today, still new and trying, like the pelican, to figure out just what to do with their altered bodies.
One little bird arrived late. The paint was nearly all gone and the helpers were pretty much out of ideas. So the little bird had to settle for brown, all except for one little drop of gold paint, which someone had the bright idea of having her swallow. And that’s how the nightingale got her lovely voice.
Van Kampen has produced a colourful little book. The simple text leaves lots of room to talk about the pictures, which are delightfully bright water colours.