Waddle Giggle Gargle!: an Australian Springtime survival guide


Spring is beautiful in Australians. Beautiful and terrifying! You can be happily walking down the street, a street you walk down every day, and then suddenly silent black and white wings of death attack you from above! That’s right, Magpie Season!

 Some magpies become aggressive during breeding season and will swoop passers by in an attempt to defend their nest. It can be quite intimidating and dangerous for the unaware.

Waddle Giggle Gargle! by Pamela Allen is an essential springtime survivor’s manual. It’s the story of Jonathon, Grandma and Grandpa who live together at the end of the street.  

“At the other end of the street is a tall gum tree. Sitting in the tall gum tree is a black and white magpie. ‘Waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle,’ the magpie shouts.”

Every day the magpie shouts ‘waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ as they pass by. One day the magpie is silent and it is no longer safe to walk up the street. Jonathon, Grandma and Grandpa can’t go about their day so they must work together to create a safe way to get past the magpie. Their solution is creative and I love that it isn’t about moving or hurting the bird, but just a safe way for them to get past.

Waddle Giggle Gargle! is a fun book that every Australian can relate to. It’s also great for discussion around:

-       sharing habitats

-       how animals behave and what they are trying to say

-       preparing kids for that sometimes frightening time of spring

Waddle Giggle Gargle!
by Pamela Allen – Penguin Group (Australia), 1996
ages 2 to 9 years / australia + funny

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