Tuesday 10 September 2013

So You Want to be Prime Minister?

So You Want to be Prime Minister? by Nicholas Brasch, illustrated by David Rowe (Black Dog Books)
PB RRP $ 18.95
ISBN 9781922179258
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

What an interesting, revealing book this is, published to coincide with the elections. It gets right into the nitty-gritty of the lives of Australia’s Prime Ministers with information about them that surpasses a trivia contest, and includes the history of Kirribilli House.  There are statistics: on the PMs’ names with John being the most popular name, which State the most popular PMs came from, nicknames and why they were given them, and how many were former lawyers along with other tasty morsels that one would not expect to  learn. We discover their foibles, preferences in clothes and food and lots of other areas, and who died while in office.

Also revealed are the former occupations of the PMs. So if any reader aspires after the top job and thinks they are too poor, too uneducated, too anything, this book will give them the encouragement they need, for it disproves all notions of impossibility regarding credentials for becoming PM.

This book is highly entertaining with remarkable statistics, told with such humour that the reader laughs all the way through the book. Nicholas Brasch, who has written over 350 books for children and YA, has excelled again in another of the Our Stories series, making politics simple for children and adults.

The illustrations by political cartoonist David Rowe are clever and imaginative
 His caricatures of the PMs are priceless images in literal translation of the text.

The book ends with a Timeline. Each era is accompanied by an original photo of the relevant PM and the world events that took place while each was in office.

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