Tatiara, by Jo Oliver

Tatiara is a beautiful swimmer.
Sometimes she looks at me as if to say, ‘Why can’t you come in too?’

Tatiara is a seal who comes to live in a Tasmanian bay when she is injured. There she befriends the narrator, a girl who also has an injury and wears a back brace which prevents her from swimming free with Tatiara. Their friendship gives each strength as they heal.

This is a gentle picture book with illustrations combining etchings with a watercolour wash. In places it seems a historical tale, with the illustrations of the brace and the wharf suggesting the story is set in the past, but the time period is hard to place, with clothing and city settings suggesting a more contemporary time. Regardless, the gentle tale of a bond between a girl and a seal, is touching.

Tatiara, by Jo Oliver
New Frontier Publishing, 2010
ISBN 9781921042225

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.