Once there was nothing.
Then there was something.
So begins this wonderful nonfiction offering, which uses this simple. yet powerful, introduction to then explore Australia’s history, from Earth’s beginnings, to the time of the dinosaurs, Indigenous Australia pre European exploration and settlement and through the stages of history since then to the modern day. With such a huge time span to cover, and much of it predating written history, author Tania McCartney still manages to cover a wide array of events and, imporrtantly, to acknowledge important aspects of Aboriginal history such as the Dreamtime, and the impact of European settlement on the original owners. Post settlement history includes key dates such as Federation, exploration and Australia’s involvement in war, as well as Australia’s sporting, industrial and artistic achievements, as well as natural disasters, economic development and more.
The timeline is supported throughout by illustrations including photographs and artworks from the National Library’s collection, as well as new illustrations by Peter Shaw. Young readers will enjoy exploring the visual material and the overall design of the book is excellent, being both accessible to young readers and visually pleasing.
This is an outstanding classroom or school library tool, but is also likely to be enjoyed at home for private reading, being the sort of book that can be either read cover to cover or simply browsed and dipped into.
An excellent resource.
Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline, by Tania McCartney
NLA Publishing, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores, directly from the National Library of Australia’s bookstore, or online from Fishpond.