Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Summer Rain

Summer Rain by Ros Moriarty, illustrated by Balarinji (Allen & Unwin 2015)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN: 9781760112110

Reviewed by Jade Harmer

With rain comes life and Summer Rain is a vivid celebration of life in the wet season in northern Australia.

This story is a lyrical one, commencing at dawn and concluding at dusk, each spread depicting the sights and sounds of the unique summer landscape from a new vantage point. Kangaroos pound over red ochre earth, grasses stand like spears in the steamy heat, geckos stretch in the sunset.

Filled with colour and movement, the lively beauty of this book makes it stand out from the crowd. The simplicity of Balarinji’s Indigenous design – each perfect dot, hypnotic swirl and stylised creature – brings the words of author Ros Moriarty to life with bold impact.

In fewer than eighty words, Moriarty’s rhythm, rhyme and alliteration, blend with Balarinji’s images to create a warm and engaging feast for the senses.

With a distinctly northern Australian flavour, Summer Rain revels in the splendour of the natural landscape and those who inhabit it. It also showcases the storytelling qualities of Indigenous art.

Different typography is used to accentuate certain words throughout the story. I found this approach slightly distracting, particularly as the story and artwork speak so well for themselves.

This simple picture book with its colourful imagery and low word count will likely appeal to pre-schoolers and early primary school aged children.

A translation is included in Yanyuwa, the language spoken by Aboriginal families in Borroloola, Northern Territory.

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