Purinina – A Devil’s Tale, by Christina Booth

At the bottom of the world, on the edge of an island, through a deep valley lined with pines that point to the sky…

Purinina: A Devil’s Tale is the story of the life cycle of Purinina, a Tasmanian Devil. It begins and ends with a new life. In between, Christina Booth follows Purinina as she grows from infancy to maturity. When her mother fails to return from a hunting trip, Purinina and her brothers must learn to make their own way in a changing, shrinking and often hostile environment.

Tasmanian Devils have not always had good press. In some ways they are seen as the unsociable cousin of Australia’s cuter and cuddlier marsupials. But as all mothers love their offspring, no matter their appearance or behaviour, so the author shares her love of the devil. With gentle words and warm colours, Christina Booth brings us close to Purinina and her family.

There is very little colour on the striking front cover of Purinina: A Devil’s Tale. Only Purinina’s tail and paw-prints are there, but they tell the reader that this is not a story of a horned demon. Perhaps Purinina’s markings also hint that this is not an altogether happy story. But the internal spreads are filled with colour: celebrating the vibrancy of life. When Purinina’s mother fails to return after a night’s hunting, the spreads return to almost black and white. But life goes on and colour returns to the pages although the sadness of loss is not forgotten. Throughout the story, text colour changes, reinforcing particular words. Christina Booth tells a simple, cycle-of-life tale, with warmth and love. The illustrations are simply beautiful. The text is accompanied by notes about the life and habitat of this often misunderstood Australian animal. Blue-hued endpapers show the night countryside. Recommended for 4-7 year olds and anyone wanting to learn more about the Tasmanian Devil.

Purinina: A Devil's Tale

Purinina: A Devil’s Tale, Christina Booth
Lothian 2007

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