Lizzie Nonsense, by Jan Ormerod

When Papa takes the sandalwood he has cut into town, it is fifty miles along sand tracks, and he will be away a long time.
Then Lizzie and Mama and baby are all alone in the little house in the bush.

Alone in the bush with her mother and baby brother for months on end, Lizzie must entertain herself – and she does. With her imagination she creates weddings and parties, oceans and churches. Her mother fondly calls it ‘nonsense’ but Lizzie knows her mother likes nonsense too.

Lizzie Nonsense is a charming look at the experience of pioneering families in the Australian bush. Lizzie’s carefree nature makes light of the hardships that she and her mother face, with hard work, low rations, snakes and isolation all there for contemporary readers to see.

Jan Ormerod’s illustrations, using a combination of crayon, watercolour and gouache, complement the historical nature of the story and are simply delightful. The cover illustration, showing Lizzie sitting on the limb of a gum tree and looking into the distance, yet directly at the reader, provides a nice link between past and present, as if Lizzie is waiting to share her story with the reader.

Lizzie Nonsense is perfect for sharing at home, but would also make an excellent classroom tool, especially for themes relating to history.

Lizzie Nonsense

Lizzie Nonsense by Jan Ormerod
Little Hare, First Published 2004
Paperback edition with DVD Storytelling, 2008.

This book is available from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

DVD Review: Undercover Stories

Undercover Storiesprovides an excellent resource for increasing children’s understanding of all aspects of the book creation process. The DVD includes interviews with five children’s book creators who explain how they go about writing and illustrating books, as well as an interview with publisher Leonie Tyle (at UQP at the time of filming). There is also a discussion about how book covers are designed and an inside look at the printing process.

This is an excellent resource for teachers, librarians and also for creators, making real the behind the scenes work in producing a children’s book. It also enables children to see and hear five prominent children’s creators – Narelle Oliver, David Cox, Fiona Doyle, Michael Gerard Bauer and James Moloney.

Undercover Stories is a project of Book Links, an association dedicated to fostering an appreciation and understanding of children’s and youth literature in children and young people, as well as in the wider community.

Undercover Stories is available directly from Book Links.

Undercover Stories
Book Links, 2007