One Perfect Day, by Jackie French

May 9, 1927 didn’t start as a perfect day. Not for Billy.
‘Rise and shine!’ yelled Mr Cuddy. ‘Blast the boy, he’d sleep through a mob of emus galloping through the butter! Billy!’
‘Coming Mr Cuddy!’ Billy rolled over on the potato sacks in the sleep-out, waking Dusty beside him.

Life is hard for Billy, an orphan who has been sent to work on a farm near Canberra. He works long hours, doesn’t get enough to eat, and can’t keep warm. But when he hears that Mr Cuddy, the farmer, is going to shoot Dusty, the dog who is Billy’s only friend, Billy knows life could get much worse. He has until sun-down to find a new home for Dusty.

It is the opening day of the new Parliament House, and there is plenty of traffic heading for Canberra. Perhaps Billy can find someone to take Dusty home. When he finds a car broken down at the side of the road, he ends up with more than that.

One Perfect Day is a junior novel about friendship and loyalty, set amidst the events of the commissioning of the original Parliament House in Canberra. Part of the Making Tracks series, published by The National Museum of Australia Press, One Perfect Day is an easy to read offering, with plenty of interest for young readers. Kids will love the surprise ending and be fascinated by the old motor cars which feature heavily in the story.

One Perfect Day, by Jackie French
National Museum of Australia Press, 2006