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

Thursday 3 November 2011

Review: All the Way to W.A.

It's so secret I'm a big fan of Roland Harvey's work - from his warmth, humour, imagery and adoration for Australia and its vast and beautiful landscape - to his penchant for hitting the road - exploring his adventuresome books is a treat in armchair travel ... first class all the way.

We've already explored the beach and the city and the bush ... we've even travelled from Tassie all the way to the Top End. Now it's time to travel from the Great Australian Bight, along the stunning western coast all the way to Broome and Wyndham - All the Way to W.A. showcases are part of Australia encased in raw wilderness and wonder.

All in search of Uncle Kev. Yes, that's right. Uncle Kev is missing. Thought to have gone missing on one of his Nigh Parrot escapades, renowned lobotanist, inventor and ex-commando, Kev has been swallowed into the vast wilderness of Western Australia, and it's up to the fam to track him down - via such places as Kalgoorlie, Fremantle, Monkey Mia and the great Pilbara.

And what is the Night Parrot, you ask? This elusive bearded bird has achieved legendary status amongst the ornithologists of the world - and uncle Kev holds the record for the most confirmed non-sightings and near-misses. Can he track down another near-miss? And can his family uncover his tracks?

Along the way, Harvey's iconic ink and watercolour illustrations rend the eye into detail-strewn landscapes - at once comical and beautiful. His use of wildlife, colour, iconic symobolism and skittering people will enchant children, as they explore the beauty of this stunning part of the world.

Harvey has done it again with yet another triumph in his wandering traveller series. Funny, charming and educational - with heart-thumping references to Australian history that will enlighten not burden, I can't get enough of this talented author/illustrator, and his home country pride.

And do they find Uncle Kev on his Night Parrot escapades?

Title: All the Way to W.A.
Author/Illustrator: Roland Harvey
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: November 2011
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781741758856
For ages: 6 - 10
Type: Picture Book