Saturday 23 March 2013

Gus the Galah Meets Auntie Hazel

Gus the Galah Meets Auntie Hazel by Carrie Haworth, illustrated by Bianca Ramirez (Published by Carrie Haworth)
PB RRP $14.95 plus $1.80 postage
ISBN – 978-0-9872340-5-6
Reviewed by Donna Austin

The first in The Adventures of Gus the Galah, a series of illustrated stories, this story shows how Gus met Auntie Hazel. At the story’s opening, readers meet Mrs Galah who is concerned about her and Mr Galah’s nest not being big enough for the six eggs she has laid, for she normally only lays five. Mr Galah says ‘let’s wait and see’.

When the babies hatch, halfway through the book, Gus is the last one out. He’s also the biggest, noisiest and most impatient. When Mrs Galah is out looking for food he stands on the edge of his nest ‘looking for his Mummy’. He spots Auntie Hazel who is eating at the garden table with her grandchildren. Leaning over to have a closer look, Gus falls into Auntie Hazel’s lap. ‘Poor Auntie Hazel!’

But it seems it’s not such a ‘Poor Auntie Hazel’, for she picks up Gus and decides it’s wonderful. Unsure what to do, she ‘cuddled Gus to her and then had an idea!’ Readers are then told she decides to keep and look after Gus. He hops onto Auntie Hazel’s shoulder and drifts to sleep, dreaming of happy days ahead with her. So ends the first story, showing how Gus met Auntie Hazel.

Large font text is well placed between bold and bright coloured chalk illustrations that fill the pages and the thoughtful addition of a Willy Wagtail in each one gives readers something to look for in every scene.

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