Written and illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
Published by Scholastic
Martha was cuckoo about birds.
She knew all the birds in the woods behind her house; that is, until she spied an unfamiliar bird, a funny-looking bird, a big bird. Martha befriends the bird and trots home to look up its species in her bird watching book, only to discover this bird is a dodo, and it’s supposed to be extinct! Nevertheless, Martha spends a happy summer with her friend, Mr. Dodo.
Martha and Mr. Dodo’s friendship goes unspoiled until Martha, while chatting with the postman, accidentally lets slip that she is friends with a dodo bird. Worried for her friend’s safety (“What would happen to Mr. Dodo if people found him?”) she hides the bird. And good thing, too. The next day a crowd of people come looking for the dodo bird.
Frith’s illustrative approach and simple colour palette are stylistically reminiscient of the 50s – personally, they remind me of Gene Zion’s Harry the Dirty Dog. The pleasant, amiable text and endearing illustrations make this a charming book… with an edge. Hello, Mr. Dodo is a subtle reminder of the dangers of humans and their part in the extinction of animals.
A great read!