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Picture book of the year--honour books.

BANCROFT, Bronwyn Why I Love Australia Little Hare


Not only the natural beauty of Australia, but the built environment is celebrated in bold, vibrant imagery accompanied by minimal, but poetic, text. Rich descriptive language evokes the spirit of the country being described. The varying visual perspectives on each double-page spread take the viewer on a journey through rainforest, gorges and coral reefs as well as across suburban roofs and city lights. Bold modern colour adds depth to both word and image. An Elder with a smoking coolamon welcomes the reader on each page. The significance of the smoking ceremony is explained at the end of a book that sees Bronwyn Bancroft's contemporary indigenous artwork at its very best.

RIDDLE, Tohby My Uncle's Donkey Viking

Using a judiciously restricted palette to highlight significant illustrative details, and an understated, dead-pan tone in the text, Riddle will delight readers with an imaginary donkey's antics, as he engages in increasingly outrageous behaviour. This cartwheeling, hoof-standing donkey lives a life we would all love to lead. The setting is the uncle's house, with the uncle seemingly oblivious to the donkey. This juxtaposition accentuates the humour. Riddle also adds some sly cultural references, such as Van Gogh's iconic sunflowers in a vase on a table, to ensure older readers will recognise them and enjoy the absurdity firmly identifying it as a post-modern picture book. The visual humour is particularly appealing to the younger readers.

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Title Annotation:'Why I Love Australia' and 'My Uncle's Donkey'
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2011
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