Great Aussie Inventions, by Amy Hunter

Have you heard the saying ‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’? It means that when a solution can’t be found one must be made.
When the early settlers arrived they found a very different country to anything they knew. They had to be clever if they were to survive.

Aussies are great inventors. Visit any Aussie town, any Aussie farm and inventions can be found. Where there was a need, there was an inventor, trying to find an easier or better way to do things. Great Aussie Inventions is a large, portrait format paperback full of Aussie inventions. Some of the inventions are well-known to Aussies, but others have achieved wider prominence. The Hills Hoist is uniquely Aussie, but others like the inflatable slide raft used on planes, have gone global. There are inventions from 1856, all the way through to 2001 when Dr Fiona Wood invented spray on skin to help heal burns. Extras include a contents page, an index, glossary, timeline and resource page.

Great Aussie Inventions is pitched at middle primary readers. The cover features a wild-eyed inventor child whose head is overflowing, almost exploding with great Aussie ideas. There’s a suggestion that from the wildest ideas come useful inventions. Some inventions were almost accidental, like the discovery of penicillin, while others were designed to meet an unmet need. The inventors are scientists, farmers, shearers, horseracing fans, water conservationists. The message is clear – anyone can be an inventor. The text style is light and humorous, the illustrations even more so. Great Aussie Inventions provides a taster of Aussie inventors and their creations as well as dipping into Australian history. Sure to find an avid readership.

Great Aussie Inventions

Great Aussie Inventions, by Amy Hunter, ill David Rowe
Black Dog Books 2009
ISBN: 9781742030760

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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