The first thing Shy remembered was living in a round, dark, leafy nest with her mother and brother, Spur. Here the two tiny platypuses had been hatched out of their eggs. Here their mother had been hatched out of their eggs. Here their mother had fed them. here, in the dark, under the heavy ground, they now played with each other…
Shy the Platypus is a classic tale of the life cycle of the platypus, told through the fictionalised story of one specific platypus, named Shy. First published in 1944, the tale has been published in many editions since and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. It has now been brought back to life in a delightful hard cover illustrated edition by the National Library of Australia.
Author Leslie Rees wrote very Australian books for children at a time when there were few such offerings, with his series of books on Australian animals introducing readers in Australia and overseas to our unique wildlife. Special in this new edition is the use of illustrations and photographs from the library’s collection, along with an introduction by one of Leslie Rees’ daughters. Dymphna Rees Peterson.
In hardcover format with black and white and colour illustrations in a variety of styles, the book also includes photographs, samples of Rees’ drafts and proofs, and back of book information about the platypus, making it both a collector’s item and a suitable offering for children. Lovely.
Shy the Platypus, by Leslie Rees
National Library of Australia Press, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.