Granny’s Place by Allison Paterson ill Shane McGrath

Granny and Pa’s farm was the best place in the world.

A home build long ago from mud bricks Pa made himself.

It was brimming with treasures of olden days.

Granny and Pa’s farm was the best place in the world.

A home build long ago from mud bricks Pa made himself.

It was brimming with treasures of olden days.

A child reflects on her time shared at her grandparents’ farm. Initial slightly scary elements become less scary with time, and there are plenty of adventures to be had with the animals. In all it becomes her favourite place. Until things change and she has to figure out what she really loves most. Illustrations depict a rural then urban landscape and include many elements of days gone by.

‘Granny’s Place’ is a farm, and it is full of new experiences for a small urban child. Luckily there are bigger cousins and siblings to help negotiate some of the more confronting experiences. There are plenty of elements here for grandparents to share with grandchildren and to stimulate discussions about how things can change. Recommended for pre- and early school-age.

Granny’s Place, Allison Paterson Shane McGrath
Big Sky Publishing 2016
ISBN: 9781925275636

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

www.clairesaxby.com

Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine by Aleesah Darlison and Shane McGrath

I am the last of my kind.

This I know.

Once, we roamed the land.

We owned the land.

We called it Home.

I am the last of my kind.

This I know.

Once, we roamed the land.

We owned the land.

We called it Home.

Stripes in the Forest is told in first person from the perspective of the last remaining Thylacine. Her story begins as she first encounters man. She watches cautiously and with growing concern as the white man and his firesticks decimate not just Thylacine populations but those of other native animals. She retreats to more remote forest to keep her young safe. When at last they are ready to leave her, she worries about their survival. There is a note of hope at the end that somewhere, deep in the forests, other Thylacines endure. A final page offers Thylacine facts. Illustrations offer a lush world full of hiding places for animals fleeing white men. Extras include a faux sticker that reminds the reader that it is 80 years since the Thylacine was rendered extinct.

Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine is a chilling and compelling story. Words and images work together well to evoke both the silence and voice of this final Thylacine. The brief text allows the reader to immerse themselves in the story and to ‘walk’ with the animals. Stripes in the Forest provides rich material for discussion at home and in the classroom and the note of hope invites speculation about if and where survivors may be hiding. A thoughtful blend of fact and fiction. Recommended for lower primary readers.

Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine, Aleesah Darlison ill Shane McGrath
Big Sky Publishing 2016
ISBN: 9781925275711

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

www.clairesaxby.com