Radio Rescue! by Jane Jolly & Robert Ingpen

Jim loved station life at Four Wells.
He loved hunting rabbits, exploring with his dog Bluey and chasing goannas. But sometimes he was lonely. If only his friend Frank didn’t live so far away.

Jim and his parents all love station life, but sometimes they feel lonely, cut off from the rest of the world. So when a pedal radio comes, and they can send messages by morse code, and even hear voices from the main base. Jim longs to have a turn on the radio, but Dad says he needs to wait until he’s older. However, when Dad has an accident and Mum is away from the house, it is Jim who uses the radio to call for help. He is a hero.

Radio Rescue! tells the tale of the introduction of pedal radios to outback communities, showing its importance by using a fictional family and the difference it makes to their life, coupled with back of book notes which explain how and why the pedal radio was developed, as well as the use of the radio to summon the Flying Doctors, one its life-saving services.

Illustrations, by master craftsman Robert Ingpen, are divine. Each spread includes text on one page, with the opposite including a grey scale, highly detailed picture of one of the characters on the outside of a fold out spread, opening to reveal a coloured illustratios including rich landscape and actios scenes. Ingpen’s style is perfect for a historical book such as this and adults and children alike will admire his work, and the detail included.

Perfect for both classroom use and private reading, Radio Rescue! is a collector’s delight too.

Radio Rescue! by Jane Jolly & Robert Ingpen
National Library of Australia Press, 2016
ISBN 9780642278784

The Little Fairy Sister, by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Grenbry Outhwaite

“Nancy!” said Bridget suddenly, and as she said she sat bolt upright. Her eyes had been closed the moment before, and when she had opened them she had seen a most exquisitely-dressed little girl standing by the hammock on tip-toe looking down upon her. It was extraordinary, but she was sure, perfectly certain, it must have been Nancy.

Once Bridget had a sister. But when they were very young, Nancy ailed, and, Bridget’s mother tells her, went back to live in the Country of Fairies. Bridget loves this story and longs to meet her sister and visit the land of fairies. One magical afternoon Nancy comes to visit and takes her on an adventure with the fairies.

The Little Fairy Sister is a classic children’s book, newly re-released by the National Library of Australia from an early edition of the book. Whilst the story may not be known to all readers, many will be visually familiar with Ida Rentoul Outhwaite’s fairy paintings which have been used in books, on murals, in advertising materials and on galleries since the 1920s.

Whilst the story may be a little dated – particularly the euphemistic handling of the death of a sibling – it is also both charming and enlightening as a sample of the literature of its time. Outhwaite’s illustrations are reproduced in a mixture of full colour and black and white, and the book is a sturdy hardcover with colour slip case. An enchanting offering for the lover of fairies, art and classic children’s books.


The Little Fairy Sister

The Little Fairy Sister, by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Grenbry Outhwaite
This edition NLA, 2013
ISBN 9780642277725

Available from good bookstores or online.