'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 27 September 2010

Review: Down to Earth, Rusty and the Rainbow

Read below to find out how to WIN both of these books!

Titles: Down to Earth; Rusty and the Rainbow

Author: Karin Cox

Photographer: Steve Parish

Publisher: Steve Parish Publishing, $14.95 RRP each

Publication Date: September 2010

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9781741936315 / 9781741936322

For ages: 3+

Type: Picture books

About Down to Earth: Jemima the koala has lived all her life in the tree tops. She’s never before been down to the ground; she hasn’t even stopped to wonder what it’s like down there.

Until her daughter, Mimi, grows up and begins asking questions about what it’s like down there.

Meanwhile, the other animals are planning a party. They think the koalas are snobby, never bothering to come down to talk to them, so they don’t think to invite them. Except for Daisy the glider, that is, who delivers an invitation and urges them to come along.

All the animals could be in for a shock when they realise they have misunderstood each other.

Kids will love so many aspects of this story.

Personally, I love the deeper message contained in words like these: “I have never been down to earth… I have everything I need right here in the tree tops.” Many of us may have our heads stuck in the clouds, but it’s important to know that right here in real life, there are things to be lived.

The use of other pictures with the photographs also works really well. This is a book full of stunning Australian wildlife images, with little extra bits added in here and there, like the pink invitations each animal is holding. This adds a whimsical feel and a real touch of fantasy that complements the story perfectly.

But my favourite part? The photos of cuddly, sleepy koalas – they’re just so cute!

About Rusty and the Rainbow: When Rusty the numbat and his friend Pogo the wallaby spot a kangaroo, they decide to take an adventure to find the pot of gold at the end.

Along the way they meet some animals that match the colours of a rainbow: parrots, rainbow fish, a rainbow bee-eater – all of whom have tried to catch the bright arc in the sky before. Rusty and Pogo are warned that their search will end in failure, but still they persist.

When they finally reach the end, there’s a little surprise in store for this adventurous pair – they may have found a reward for their efforts after all.

The numbat is a fascinating creature and a rare, endangered species that is so important to be aware of. After all, knowledge and familiarity (beginning with childhood stories such as this one) are the first step to protecting our amazing native animals.

This story acts to inform children – in a fun and relatable way – of the animals that live in our midst. What they like to eat, their habitats, other creatures found in the same environment; it’s all here.

Of course, Parish’s photography is the first thing one notices, but look even further and you’ll find a lovely story with a positive message. And an important one at that.