Tuesday 3 June 2014

The Boy From Snowy River

The Boy From Snowy River by Edwina Howard, illustrated by Joe Bond (Omnibus Books)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN 978-1-86291-997-6
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

George really wants to go to Big Spills Water World. But there's not much chance of that when you live in Mumblegum, just out of Dargan's Ridge in the middle of nowhere. But then Gran hatches a plan. All George has to do is win the Stockman's Cup at Dargan's Ridge Festival. Can he do it on Bandicoot, their old stock horse? And can Croak, Bandicoot's closest friend, be convinced to stay at home?
Soon George is in for the ride of his life, competing against Clancy (of the Overflow Plumbing Co.), Mr Harrison's runaway goats and the rules of the competition (he's not quite fourteen yet). It's not looking good for that trip to Big Spills Water World.
A new book in the Mates series, The Boy From Snowy River is another Great Australian Yarn, full of Aussie humour, language and identity. This story is written with tongue-in-cheek, nail-biting tension and really funny scenes.
The butterflies in my stomach turn to great galumphing caterpillars.
Bright, colourful and fun illustrations accompany the text and are as much a part of the story as the words. Varying font emphasises some words and this, along with short chapters and large text, make it a perfect story for junior readers.
This is a tale of a great race. We barrack for the underdog, a ‘stripling’ and his horse, a ‘small weedy beast’. We cheer their bravery, skill and drive to go where other stockmen fear to go, and celebrate the spirit of the classic Australian poem by Banjo Patterson The Man From Snowy River.

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