When Papa takes the sandalwood he has cut into town, it is fifty miles along sand tracks, and he will be away a long time.
Then Lizzie and Mama and baby are all alone in the little house in the bush.
Alone in the bush with her mother and baby brother for months on end, Lizzie must entertain herself – and she does. With her imagination she creates weddings and parties, oceans and churches. Her mother fondly calls it ‘nonsense’ but Lizzie knows her mother likes nonsense too.
Lizzie Nonsense is a charming look at the experience of pioneering families in the Australian bush. Lizzie’s carefree nature makes light of the hardhips that she and her mother face, with hard work, low rations, snakes and isolation all there for contemporary readers to see.
Jan Ormerod’s illustrations, using a combination of crayon, watercolour and gouache, complement the historical nature of the story and are simply delightful. The cover illustration, showing Lizzie sitting on the limb of a gum tree and looking into the distance, yet directly at the reader, provides a nice link between past and present, as if Lizzie is waiting to share her story with the reader.
Lizzie Nonsense is perfect for sharing at home, but would also make an excellent classroom tool, especially for themes relating to history.
Lizzie Nonsense, by Jan Ormerod
Little Hare, 2004