Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Christine Harris, illustrated by Ann James and published by Little Hare (an imprint of Hardie Grant) 2012.
I've read and reviewed some of Harris's Audrey novels and was delighted to discover that she'd written a children's picture book about the same character. Now little brothers and sisters can join in the Audrey fun!
Audrey lives in the outback, so when she loses her first tooth, she’s worried the tooth fairy will never find her!
How will she let the tooth fairy know where she lives...
and what will the tooth fairy leave her?
Here's a dramatic moment all kids can relate to - the loss of a first tooth. But the setting of this story is perhaps unusual to city kids, and therefore involves lots of incidental learning. We see Audrey kicking up clouds of red dust with her bare feet, putting her tooth for safety into a billy, visiting her cubby made from sticks in the scrub, and sitting on an upturned bucket in a paddock to make a wish. Kids will enjoy Audrey's determination, and perhaps do some creative problem solving of their own when next faced with a difficulty.
The choice of James as illustrator was inspired. She captures the outback light and dust and spikiness to perfection. With just a few lines, she portrays Audrey's inner exuberance one minute, and the aggression of an emu the next. The muted palette of ochre, washed out green and faded denim underpin our consciousness of the Australian bush way of life.
It's a Miroocool is a beautiful hardback book. It would make a great choice for libraries, especially schools looking for Australian Studies resources. And what a special gift it would make for a youngster with a wobbly tooth, or one whose older siblings are reading other Audrey books!
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