Tuesday 29 August 2023


by Trace Balla (Allen & Unwin) HB RRP $27.99 ISBN 9781760526207

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Leaf-light is an 80-page graphic novel/picture book hybrid suitable for an audience aged 6 years and older. It is a beautiful tale reflecting the value of friendship, the spirit of community, respect for the land, and caring for wildlife. Leaf-light is a companion book to the highly praised Landing with Wings.

Nature loving Miri lives with her mum on Djaara Country. Next door, her friend Wingo lives with his large family and a cast of rescued animals. Together Miri and Wingo explore, build, forage, play, nurture wildlife, spend time with family and friends, and help others in the community.

Leaf-light is an educational and entertaining book, incorporating Djaara Country’s local language, flora, and fauna, combined with a narrative about friendship and community. The cartoon illustrations appear in single and double-page spreads, as well as comic strip form, vignettes, and spot illustrations. Miri’s first-person narrative complements conversations in speech bubbles, onomatopoeia, and labels that identify the myriad of plants, animals, and man-made objects. Leaf-light is a feast for the eyes and the audience will gain more from it with each read. The book concludes with author notes and a list of websites for further information and teaching resources.

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