Little Koala Lost by Blaze Kwaymullina, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft (Omnibus Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 978-1-74299-128-3
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
A simple and sweet story, Little Koala Lost, is a counting book set in the Australian bush. As little koala tries to find his way home he calls out to other groups of animals:
‘Can I live with you?’
he asks three tricky turtles.
‘You wouldn’t be safe.’ they said.
‘You have no shell to hide in.’
This is a lovely book to read aloud. The counting, the repetition and the alliteration all help to create a wonderful rhythm, just right for preschool aged children. The Australian animals within the story all have their own special skill which helps them to survive and koala discovers each one as he tries to find out where he fits in.
The illustrations glow brightly in the colours of the Australian landscape and are created using a combination of acrylic paint and digital collage. They are uncluttered, and give space for the animal of the page to be counted, sitting comfortably in their own habitat.
Created by an indigenous author, this is an engaging story celebrating the Australian bush in a gentle and uncomplicated way. It is well suited as a bedtime story as well as a counting book and will provide great talking points about Australian animals, where they live and how they move about. It is a happy story about helping others to find their place.