Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mates: Bush Holiday

Mates: Bush Holiday by Leonie Norrington, illustrated by Brenton E McKenna (Omnibus Books)
PB RRP $11.99
ISBN 978-1-74299-001-9
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Tillithia looks forward to the school holidays when she can hang out with her friend Lily, or go to the markets or cinema. But not these holidays, her mum informs her. These holidays Aunt Doreen is taking them on a bush holiday.

Aunt Doreen is Tillithia’s mum, ‘aboriginal way’. It is her responsibility to teach Tillithia about indigenous culture. And although Tillithia is reluctant at first, the bush holiday - and Aunt Doreen’s lessons - turn out to be a lot of fun.

Part of the Mates Series, Bush Holiday is an easy read, exploring concepts suitable for lower and upper primary readers. The full colour illustrations throughout add to the story. They bring out the emotions of the characters, enhancing their growth and change. They also break up the text, creating an enticing, attractive book. Watch the flock of birds as they travel through the borders.

Tillithia is a great character and the reader learns along with her about Indigenous culture, traditional ways, language and bush tucker. The story highlights the importance of family and land, and respect for both.
Like other books in the Mates series, this junior novel is a funny and uniquely Australian story.

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