Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taconi & Claude

In Taconi and Claude the author, M. E. Finke, does an amazing job of carrying the reader into a different culture. The story is exciting, too.

Taconi is an aboriginal boy who lives in the Australian Outback in the 1950s. He's torn between two cultures since his father brought him along when he went to work on a homestead cattle station. (In America we'd call that a ranch. )

Taconi's father, who left the tribal grounds because of a conflict, badly needs the job of cook on the homestead and Taconi wants to help him get it. But the boy knows he must also experience the secret and scary tribal ceremony that will make him a man in the eyes of his father and tribe.

Can he find a blue kingfisher feather that will give him the luck he needs?

All through the book Taconi is accompanied by Claude, a cockatoo who always has the appropriate words for every situation. Like parrots, cockatoos can talk, but Claude's ability is both amazing and amusing.

Readers from nine to 14 years old will enjoy the story and learn about Australian culture and history at the same time.

Except for the extreme linguistic abilities of the bird, everything in the book seems realistic. The author includes Aussie jargon and describes the natural world, aboriginal culture, and life on the homestead in the 1950s naturally as the plot moves along.

I think this book is a winner.

11 comments:

Margot Finke said...


Thanks for a wonderful review, Janet.
You have made my day!! My mom once lived in a place where the landlady had a cockatoo like Claude. That bird not only talked, but could imitate the tone and voice of people. When he yelled, "Are you there Mrs Lynch?" Mom couldn't tell if it was the bird or the landlady. He was quite chatty as well. And you are right, the setting and people are as I remember them when I grew up near these places. As accurate as they could be in a fictional story.

Janet Ann Collins said...

You're welcome. I enjoyed the book a lot.
Yes, cockatoos can be amazing, but I doubt that real ones would give as much good advice as Claude does. ;-)

Penelope Anne Cole said...

Hi Jan, nice review of Margot's book. I enjoyed it when I reviewed it, too! Best of success to Margot.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thank you, Penelope.

Susan Hornbach said...

Great review Jan. This book sounds delightful, educational and entertaining. I wish you much success Margot.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thank you, Susan. It is a good book.

Bill Kirk said...

Bravo. Excellent review of an excellent story. Thanks for sharing Margot's work on your blog, Janet. This story needs to be experienced by every grade schooler to broaden their world view.

Janet Ann Collins said...

I agree, Bill.

Nancy Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy Stewart said...

Such a fun book by an equally fun author! Thanks Jan and Margot!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Nancy.