Friday, 12 July 2013

The Littlest Bushranger

The Littlest Bushranger by Alison Reynolds, illustrated by Heath McKenzie (The Five Mile Press)
HB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9781743464977
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

The Littlest Bushranger is a glorious celebration of imagination. Jack is left to his own devices when his sister Lil starts school. Lil leaves him her telescope to look after and when it is snatched from him by a ‘dark shape’, Jack’s run-of-the-mill backyard becomes a rapidly changing landscape of deserts, swamps and rainforests inhabited by giant snakes and bunyips. He rides after the ‘Outlaw’ on his trusty white steed, sword in hand. The rescue is completed just in time for Lil’s arrival home from school.

Heath McKenzie’s fun and colourful illustrations bring to life Alison Reynolds’ text as Jack’s rollicking adventure unfolds. The scene is set perfectly with the initial illustrations including the normal paraphernalia of an Australian backyard: hoses, bikes, sandpits, brooms and paddling pools. These, and his imagination, provide all that Jack needs to fulfil his adventure.

I am a sucker for a beautiful book and this falls into that category. Hardback and with fully illustrated endpapers and high quality paper, this books makes a perfect gift or is one to remain a treasured item on the book shelf for years to come. And at $14.95, it is quite a steal.

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