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

Friday 20 July 2012

Review: Inside the World of Tom Roberts

When Ben and Gracie go to meet their mother after work at the art gallery, they are excited to discover that their golden ticket once again takes them into the world of the paintings on display. As they wander through the bushland settings of Tom Roberts, they explore scenes of everyday rural life as well as experiencing exciting encounters with bushrangers and troopers on patrol.

Roberts' paintings provide a backdrop for illustrations that are supplemented by author/illustrator Mark Wilson's occasional additions of Ben, Gracie and Ann, a young girl who leads the children through the unfamiliar landscape.

This simple story driven by the imagery in Roberts' paintings is a wonderful way to introduce younger children to the works of one of Australia's icon early artists as well as sharing images of Australian bush life in the late 1800s.

Born in England and trained in both Australia and the UK, Tom Roberts was a member of the influential Heidelberg School of painters and his impressionist paintings of the Australian outback include such iconic works as the Shearing of the Rams (1890). Inside the World of Tom Roberts is the second Ben and Gracie Art Adventure picture book.

At the conclusion of the story, there is a summary of the paintings used in the illustrations as well as a brief biography of Tom Roberts. There are teachers' notes available at the publisher website.

Title:  Inside the World of Tom Roberts
Author/Illustrator:  Mark Wilson
Publisher: Lothian Children's Books, $28.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1st April 2012
Format: Picture book
ISBN: 9780734411440
For ages: 7+ years
Type: Picture book