I am the last of my kind.
This I know.
Once, we roamed the land.
We owned the land.
We called it Home.
Stripes in the Forest is told in first person from the perspective of the last remaining Thylacine. Her story begins as she first encounters man. She watches cautiously and with growing concern as the white man and his firesticks decimate not just Thylacine populations but those of other native animals. She retreats to more remote forest to keep her young safe. When at last they are ready to leave her, she worries about their survival. There is a note of hope at the end that somewhere, deep in the forests, other Thylacines endure. A final page offers Thylacine facts. Illustrations offer a lush world full of hiding places for animals fleeing white men. Extras include a faux sticker that reminds the reader that it is 80 years since the Thylacine was rendered extinct.
‘Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine is a chilling and compelling story. Words and images work together well to evoke both the silence and voice of this final Thylacine. The brief text allows the reader to immerse themselves in the story and to ‘walk’ with the animals. Stripes in the Forest provides rich material for discussion at home and in the classroom and the note of hope invites speculation about if and where survivors may be hiding. A thoughtful blend of fact and fiction. Recommended for lower primary readers.
Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine, Aleesah Darlison ill Shane McGrath
Big Sky Publishing 2016
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller