Margot Finke has done it again! Her witty sense of humor, unbridled passion and talent to write stories for children and teens shine through like a beacon in the night.
In Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble, Ms. Finke introduces the reader to the Australian outback. The two lovable characters, Taconi and his beloved best friend Claude, a cockatoo, will captivate you till the very end of the story. The story chronicles the coming of age of a boy from a tribe in the 1950s era of the Australian outback. Taconi leaves the hills to come with his father to serve an affluent family at a time when he is also to enter the manhood of his Tribe.
Taconi and the cockatoo experience daily challenges together in a fun and amusing way. Along the journey, the reader will learn much about Australian folk tales and primitive tribal living.
The most memorable moment in this delightful tale is the author’s ingenious way to show that in Australia it is not too farfetched to indulge in eating snakes and other unheard-of critters.
There are a great deal of lessons one can learn from reading Taconi & Claude. Here are a few that stand out:
1) Hard Work: Taconi learns from his dad that hard work pays off. The lesson to be learned is that nothing comes easy in life; one must be willing to work hard to achieve goals. In the end, Taconi is inspired by his dad’s willingness to work hard and he helps his father keep his job as a cook and makes his father proud of the young man he has become.
2) Friendship: I love the strong friendship between Taconi and his mouthy cockatoo. Even though Claude’s death defying curiosity led to Taconi being smothered by flesh-biting critters, Taconi managed to forgive Claude and they remained close buddies.
3) Self Discovery: Taconi searches for the power he thinks he needs to survive by diligently looking for the blue kingfisher feather. Taconi is convinced that the blue kingfisher feather has magical power that will help him obtain unlimited amount of courage. In the end, Taconi discovers the power he is looking for comes from within.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book for both girls and boys. I believe, students can learn a lot about what it means to be loyal and the benefits one can reap from hard work. Lastly, the glossary of Aussie terms at the end of the book will introduce readers to an array of new vocabulary and expose them to a new culture.