Friday 5 June 2015

Why I love Australia

Why I love Australia written and illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft (Little Hare Books/Hardie Grant Egmont)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9781760125127

Reviewed by Liz Ledden

Bronwyn Bancroft’s Why I love Australia has been around for several years; however, Little Hare Books has just released a paperback version.

The story is a celebration of Australia and its varied landscapes, taking the reader on a journey through rivers, plains and grasslands, to cities, snow and the sea. Each landscape is introduced in a double-paged spread, vibrantly coloured and depicted in dots, swirls and repetitive patterns punctuated by strong lines. Evident with each page turn is a small recurring figure of an Aboriginal person holding a traditional wooden bowl called a coolamon, used in smoking ceremonies. This ceremony is used to cleanse a place or person, disperse negative energy or to pay respect to another Aboriginal group’s land.

On each spread, a descriptive sentence helps to paint a picture in a reader’s mind of the energy of each landscape, for example ‘Gorges that plummet into serpentine shadows’. The writing has a poetic quality, and will likely enchant a preschool aged audience, introducing them not only to different environments but to beautiful language too.

Why I love Australia is an ode to the country, and pays respect to the different traditional land owners of each region.

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