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
“A true Englishman doesn’t joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager,’ replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly. I will bet twenty thousand pounds against anyone who wishes, that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less.’
It’s not often a book so obviously not set in Australia, or featuring any Australians, is reviewed here on Aussiereviews, but when the illustrator is one of Australia’s best, the review is more than warranted. Around the World in Eighty Days is the latest in a wonderful series of classic books brought to life in the wonderful illustrative work of Robert Ingpen.
These are the sort of books which make a book lover’s heart swell just to hold – hard cover, sumptuously illustrated, gorgeous cover, jacket, endpapers…in short, pure bliss.
At the same time, the opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the Jules Verne classic story is also a treat. I thought I knew it, but knew only the bare bones – and, perhaps like many other readers, was surprised to realise there was no balloon travel involved in the story!
Text and illustrations combine to transport the reader back to 1872 on a journey of wonderful imagination.
Suitable for readers of all ages.
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books 2012
Available from good bookstores and online.
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!
Who has written such volumes of stuff!
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few think him pleasant enough.
For the many readers who have grown up familiar with the work of Edward Lear, this offering is a delightful opportunity to reconnect, and for those who may perhaps not be familiar with his work, this is a chance to rectify that situation. This hardcover collection of some of his nonsense rhymes including the title poem, The Jumblies and Calico Jam, among others, is sumptuously illustrated by amazing Australian illustrator Robert Ingpen. A special bonus is that as well as bringing each poem to life with his illustrations, Ingpen has added information about the mysterious Bong-Tree and the land where it grows, a homage to Lear and a delight for readers.
Adding to Ingpen’s growing series of illustrated classics, (previous titles include A Christmas Carol, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan and Wendy), The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes is appropriate for child readers and adults alike, and a fitting tribute to mark Edward Lear’s two hundredth birthday.
The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes, by Edward Lear, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishponds. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
When a storm carries Dorothy and her dog Toto away, all she wants is to get home to Kansas. But that isn’t going to be easy – because she has landed in the mystical world of Oz, and nobody there has even heard of Kansas. But Dorothy is determined to get home…
Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful City. The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds.
When a storm carries Dorothy and her dog Toto away, all she wants is to get home to Kansas. But that isn’t going to be easy – because she has landed in the mystical world of Oz, and nobody there has even heard of Kansas. But Dorothy is determined to get home and so she journey across Oz to find the wizard who might help her. Along the way she makes friends with a scarecrow who yearns or brains, a tin man who wants a heart and a lion in search of courage. Together the friends have an action-packed adventure.
First published in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been loved by generations. This new edition holds special delight, being illustrated by award-winning Australian artist Robert Ingpen.
As with other classic titles produced by Ingpen and Walker Books, the illustrations are filled with detail and coloured with washes that highlight the classic feel of the tale and the series. Endpapers feature sepia toned line drawings and sketches of the characters and the hardback volume is wrapped in a slipcover and printed on sturdy paper, giving a feeling of quality that make this a collector’s item.
Wonderful as a gift for a reader of any age.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank baum, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books, 2011
This book is available in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in, no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place.
This story of an orphan girl sent to live with her gruff uncle in England has been loved by children for a hundred years. To mark the centenary of its release, it has been brought to life in a new edition illustrated by wonderful Australian artist Robert Ingpen.
The original text is unabridged and bound in hardback with a slip cover. Illustrations include full page character studies, landscapes and botanical studies of the garden’s flowers, which appear at the start of each chapter.
This is a beautiful collector’s edition which will be loved by adult fans of the work, as well as new generation of readers.
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books, 2010
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
ll children, except one, grow up.
For one hundred years children world wide have been captivated by the tale of the boy who never grew up, and the story of what happens when he flies through the nursery window of the Darling children in search of his lost shadow. To celebrate the 100 year anniversary, Walker Books have rereleased this classic tale, with illustrations by the amazing Australian illustrator Robert Ingpen.
The unabridged text is presented in hardcover format with over 70 colour illustrations, ranging from little cameos to double page spreads. The endpapers show Peter Pan at his impish best in a variety of poses and jacket flaps give a little insight into author JM Barrie. An introduction by the author’s great-great nephew gives further insight.
This gorgeous edition is perfect for collectors but will also be treasured by young readers.
Peter Pan and Wendy, by JM Barrie, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
This book is available in all good bookstores, and can also be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
On an Australian-focussed website such as this one it is not often that you’ll find a review for an iconic American novel. However, whilst The Adventures of Tom Sawyeris just that, this particular edition of the book has been illustrated by one of Australia’s foremost illustrators, Robert Ingpen.
This sumptuous hard cover offering presents the original text with seventy delightful coloured illustrations as well as beautiful end papers and slip cover.
With thick parchment paper, and the aforementioned illustrations which are simply breath taking, this is an offering for collectors, and would make a beautiful gift, yet is also something kids would love to own.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books, 2010
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
It is very difficult to write a review of a book which simply takes your breath away, as this one does. It is so awe-inspiring as to make any attempt to comment on techniques used or the quality of the finished product feel a little amateurish. What does one say about a masterpiece?
The book in question is a new release version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, illustrated by Australia’s own Robert Ingpen. This hardcover offering feels like a classic – with a slipcover featuring a miserable Scrooge staring at the reader, and pages printed on strong parchment pages. Most illustrations are coloured, but have muted tones which make them feel as if they were rendered in Dickens’ time, and others are sepia toned. There are double page spreads and smaller illustrations, but every spread has at least one illustration.
At the front of the book, readers are given a glimpse into the history of the story, and an author’s note, as well as a back of book list of further reading and a bonus short story (also illustrated), Dickens’ A Christmas tree.
This is a real collector’s piece, but its collectability should not prevent it also being presented to children to read and to love. It would be a wonderful Christmas gift.
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Walker Books, 2008
Every day Mustara and Taj look out onto a sea of yellow-red dust and stones. The sand rolls and shifts. Taj’s father says it is like the waves of the ocean and the Spinifex bushes are little boats blown about by the wind.
Taj’s father is an Afghan cameleer who trains camels to be used by explorers and for transporting supplies from Port Augusta to central Australia. When the explorer Mr Giles arrives, Taj hopes desperately that his favourite camel, Mustara will be chosen. But Mustara is too small and Taj and his friend Emmeline, the station owner’s daughter, try to feed him up so he will grow.
When Taj and Emmeline ride into the desert on Mustafa, they are caught in a sandstorm. Mustafa provides shelter for the pair, then brings them safely home, proving that, although he is small, he is ready to join the expedition.
Mustara is a beautiful story bringing to life part of Australia’s history which children may not be familiar with. It is brought to life by the stunning watercolour illustrations by Robert Ingpen, who captures both the starkness and the beauty of the Australian desert.
Mustara, by Roseanne Hawke & Robert Ingpen