Thursday, 21 March 2013

Quiet Queenie and Racing Ruby (Little Mates)


Quiet Queenie (Little Mates) by Susannah McFarlane, illustrated by Lachlan Creagh (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $4.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-331-6
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Racing Ruby (Little Mates) by Susannah McFarlane, illustrated by Lachlan Creagh (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $4.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-332-3
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Queenie has always been a quiet quokka, the quietest in Queensland. But one day she needs a loud voice to help out a quivering quoll.

Ruby the rainbow fish loves to race. But one day, racing ahead, she takes a wrong turn and gets lost. Can she retrace her route and rejoin her friends?

Quiet Queenie and Racing Ruby continue the Little Mates series, a set of small, fun alphabet books featuring Australian animals and friendships. The alliteration is fun to read aloud and the author does a great job, especially with Q, which would not, I would imagine, be an easy letter to work with.

The illustrations are energetic, humorous and fun to explore. The animals are drawn with individual character and there is often something a little unexpected among the wonderfully Australian settings. I love Queenie in the bush library. There a family of ducks check out their books at the reference desk decorated in Quixote and the windmills. And the shoreline Ruby that fails to notice, as she races past includes a rafting rhino - so out of place in the Australian setting that I almost failed to notice the dinosaur in the background myself!

These books can be enjoyed by children from a very young age, for the alphabet, for the joy of tongue twisting words and for the delight in the pictures.

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