Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre, by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli

Far up north, clouds are gathering: thunderheads and rain clouds.
Rain falls.
Rivers fill and break their banks,
And water swirls and roars down the empty riverbeds towards the lake.

Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre – is a dry salt lake in the centre of Australia. But once roughly every ten years heavy rains to the north fill the lake with water, awakening frogs and shrimp. carrying fish down creek beds, giving new life to parched plants, and bringing birds, including pelicans and ducks, to the lake to breed, feed and flourish. When the lake starts to dry out again the birds and their new young fly away and the other life returns to dormancy waiting for the next flood.

Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre is a beautiful non-fiction book which brings the changing lake to lif through the combination of well-written text and stunning mixed media illustrations. The narrative text is complemented on each spread by the inclusion of facts, presented in a different font so that readers can read the story and facts separately, if desired. The illustrations show the diversity of the lake’s inhabitants and the lake itself through contrasts between the ochres and browns of the dry, and the greens and blues of the wet.

Par of the Nature Storybook series, Desert Lake is excellent both as an educational tool and for prib=vate enjoyment.

Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre, by Pamela Freeman & Liz Anelli
Walker Books, 2016
ISBN 9781921529436

Audio Book Review: Pannikin & Pinta, by Colin Thiele

When the usually arid Lake Eyre in Central Australia is filled by rare floods, its shores become home to a great range of wildlife, including pelicans. But when the lake starts to shrink again, these animals face a choice between starvation and risking their lives to return to their regular homes.

In Pannikin & Pinta a pair of pelicans comes to the flooded lake to raise a family. When the flood recedes, the mother sets off on a journey with her teenage children to attempt to return to the coast.

Combining the masterful prose of Colin Thiele with the warm reading voice of actor Roger Cardwell, this is a production which touches the soul. Although Thiele is known as a writer of children’s and young adult stories, he has an ageless style which makes this story suitable for all. At 57 minutes playing time, this story could be enjoyed in one session.


Pannikin & Pinta, by Colin Thiele, read by Roger Cardwell
ABC Audio, 2003