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

Friday 5 August 2011

Review: One Small Island

I love a good historical / geographical / fact book that's primped and preened into the visual splendour of a picture book. And that's what award-winning duo Lester and Tulloch have done in One Small Island.

Featuring sumptuous artwork, divinely 'aged' maps and letters, hand-drawn diagrams of animals, geographical shapes, houses, ships and much more, One Small Island tells the story of Macquarie Island, a sub-Antarctic island and World Heritage site whose precious ecosystem has been severely damaged since the island's discovery in 1810.

Following the trails of Macquarie Island's earliest explorers through to modern times, the book includes notes on the rabbit and rodent Eradication Program of 2010. It's confounding to know an enormous population of rabbits is destroying the island's habitats for nesting birds, and devastating the natural landscape.

Both passionate environmentalists, Lester and Tulloch have travelled to Macquarie Island and Antarctica as Australian Antarctic Arts Fellows - and their concern for this glorious part of the world is beautifully showcased in One Small Island. 

To read about the efforts being made to restore this pristine land to its former condition is truly heartening - and this story is a vital one to impart to our children - many of whom would have no idea of the peril of Macquarie Island (and let's add many an adult to this equation).

A book of importance and hope, this is a must-have book for schools, libraries and of course, the bookshelf of every Australian child. 

Title: One Small Island
Author: Alison Lester
Illustrator: Coral Tulloch
Publisher: Viking, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2011
ISBN: 9780670072361
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 6 -12
Type: Picture Book