Stripes in the forest by Aleesah Darlison, illustrated by Shane McGrath (Big Sky Publishing) HB RRP $24.99 PB RRP $14.99
ISBN: HB 978-1-925275-70-4 PB 978-1-925275-71-1
Reviewed by Anita Howard
This is a powerful story about the last wild Thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger; which aligns with aspects of the Australian Curriculum and appropriate for infant children and older.
The story is told from the perspective of a female Thylacine: as she passes on her fears and hopes for her kind to her young ones as she first finds a mate, produces cubs and then watches them leave. She looks down at a human's camp and ponders why they capture and mutilate her fellow creatures.
Empathy for the Thylacine is created through the questions and thoughts that occupy the female’s Thylacine mind. Primary school children can be encouraged to consider how they would feel if they were this mother or a current creature close to extinction. The reader is left with an uplifting question 'I'm the last of my kind. Or am I?'
This story is accompanied by beautifully rendered landscapes and emotive and skilled illustrations of the animals. Included on the last page are facts related to the Thylacine.