Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Arriving Home

Arriving Home by MJ Gibbs, illustrated by Mapleton Art (Lesterlyons Publishing) PB RRP $10 ISBN 9780648273509

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

It is all too easy to overlook the treasures of our local area and community.  Arriving Home is a sweet travelogue aimed at building appreciation for one such place, Mapleton, Queensland and its surrounds.

The characters - a range of anthropomorphic native animals - return from an overseas holiday having lost their travel journal, then set off on a tour of the local area in order to make and record new ones.  They notice both tourist attractions and the natural sights and sounds, finishing with a perfect sunset offering the ideal photo opportunity.

A collaborative community effort on the illustrations - by a group of nine local artists - results in a diversity of styles. While this may be distracting in most picture books, it fits the context and lends a certain charm.  The final spread of the book summarises the notable places and wildlife featured throughout the story.

A book of and for the community, it is available at the Mapleton Community Library or directly from the author.  Families local to the area will appreciate the opportunity to see their surroundings in a different light, and visitors will be able to take away their own Mapleton memory.

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