Rosie lives in 1930s Tasmania, with her father, a timber cutter, and family. Although they are in wild country, Rosie and her family are happy and safe.
One day, though, a fur trapper who Rosie fear- Elias Churchill – comes to the camp, looking for her father. When her father returns, he takes Rosie with him to see Churchill at the railway station. There, while her father is off talking to the trapper, Rosie sees what Chrichill is up to. In a train carriage she sees a thylacine, caged and ready to be sent to Hobart Zoo. Churchill has trapped it and sold it. Rosie is saddened to see the wild animal, hurt and scared.
Several years later, Rosie goes to see the thylacine in the Hobart Zoo. She learns that it is possibly the last thylacine alive. When it dies, she wonders if she could have done something to save it, and perhaps the whole species, by helping it when it was trapped and frightened in the train.
I Saw Nothing is a story which educates rather than uplifts. With an important message about conservation, and protection of endangered species, its use of a child character makes it accessible to younger readers.
The illustrations of Mark Wilson, contrasting the rich and peaceful greens of the bush with the dank colours of disaster and images of the thylacine, are an integral part of the message.
This is an outstanding book, perfect for primary classrooms and for home collections.
I Saw Nothing: The Extinction of the Thylacine, by Gary Crew & Mark Wilson