|About the Book|
Lyrebird! A True Story is based on the real tale of Edith Wilkinson and a a lyrebird she called James who danced in Ediths Dandenongs garden in the 1930s. At the time, Superb Lyrebirds were believed to be shy and elusive, but James tolerated humanMoreLyrebird! A True Story is based on the real tale of Edith Wilkinson and a a lyrebird she called James who danced in Ediths Dandenongs garden in the 1930s. At the time, Superb Lyrebirds were believed to be shy and elusive, but James tolerated human audiences and performed for bird-watchers and ornithologists who arrived from around the globe. Upon a platform built on Ediths verandah rail, he became one of the first lyrebirds to be captured on film, and helped spread the reputation of these birds as uncanny imitators of the sounds around them.Jackie first learned about James and Edith in 2007 from a 1933 book called The Lore of the Lyrebird by Ambrose Pratt. Therein he described an article he wrote about the unlikely pair in the 13 February 1932 edition of The Age. Jackie retrieved the article and from then on, she was hooked.I loved the story and thought that I could shape it into what I call a tellable tale – take the story and put it into language for telling. I tell stories at schools and festivals and I was very interested in collecting some uniquely Australian stories, explains Jackie. Also I like to encourage kids to connect with nature. And theyre just such fabulous birds that we carry in our change purse or pocket, on the ten-cent coin. So I wrote a little story that I called Ediths Lyrebird. Her story won an award at the Woodford Folk Festival, then at the instigation of filmmaker Malcom McKinnon, Ediths Lyrebird was turned into a short film.