Saturday 23 August 2014

The Croc and the Platypus

The Croc and the Platypus by Jackie Hosking, illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 24.95
ISBN 9781922077608
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Jackie Hosking’s first picture book is simply brilliant! I can just see this book walking off the shelves in bookshops, tourist areas and in the luggage of overseas travellers. It’s perfect promotional material. Imaginative and clever rhyming verse with rhythm identical to The Owl and the Pussycat poem, The Croc and the Platypus is a salute to the Australian Outback. 

Croc and Platypus set out on a daring adventure across the Nullarbor Plain in a rusty old Holden ute. With hubcaps ringing and didgeridoo blowing across shearer’s tracks, they come to a shearing shed. The shearers are almost frightened out of their wits by the appearance of the two mates. But the ‘bloke with the sheep’ agrees to sell them a fleece ‘nice and cheap.’

In view of the ‘great ochre pebble in the shape of a hill’, they cook dinner over a camp fire followed by lamingtons for dessert. They set up a tent – a stick with the fleece thrown over, and under the light of the Southern Cross, ‘danced beside Uluru.’

With fabulous full-page illustrations throughout, and Aussie language followed by a glossary for those unaccustomed to our expressions, this book will be snatched up by children for the stunning illustrations, and by parents who love a good old Aussie yarn and a laugh, just like in the good old days.

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