Sunday 8 September 2013


Boondaburra by Natalie Lonsdale, illustrated by Shannon Melville (Even Before Publishing)
HB RRP $19.95
ISBN 978-1-922074-55-3
Reviewed by Jacque Duffy

This book is suitable for independent readers and will encourage young minds to ask more questions regarding their environment. The difficult subject of being different and acceptance is tackled within a story filled with a sense of urgency. The author has managed to weave ‘Dreamtime’ and ‘Christian’ beliefs in a subtle, believable way.

Boondarburra has feelings of inadequacy. He overhears other animals making fun of his appearance and feels like an outcast because he is so different. After a devastating bushfire, Boondaburra uses his unique characteristics to help other animals who in turn learn to appreciate and accept him. Children who have laughed at others for being different will certainly resonate with this story.

An information page about the platypus is in the back of the book and is written for the children by the platypus. For me there was a little too much ‘bible study’ in the platypus information page but if the book were to be in a Christian School library it wouldn’t be out of place.

Shannon Melville the illustrator is also a graphic designer based in Perth. She manages to bring her illustrations to life through her use of colour and energetic style.

This book is not just for children, it could also be a lovely gift for a visitor to Australia as it details how special our unique Australian animals are.

Jacque Duffy is the author and illustrator of the series ‘That’s not a …” learn to read books used in all Queensland State Primary Schools and one local history coffee table book.

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