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

Friday 21 September 2012

Review: The Sugarbag

Max is ready to set off on a tracking adventure when his older brother Jimmy says a tiny native bee could lead them to a sweet treasure. Max’s head is filled with visions of piles of sugary treats as he and Jimmy follow the bee in search of some delicious sugarbag. Sugarbag is the European word for the honey produced by the Australian native stingless bee.

While Max excitedly follows the ‘pirate bee’ who will lead them to their treasure, Jimmy is teaching his younger brother about bush tucker and the skills needed to find a special treat to take home to their grandfather.

This lovely picture book shares with young readers the adventure of collecting this delicious bush tucker. I love the sense of history that is part of the story; that Jimmy learned the tricks of tracking the bee from his grandfather and that he is now passing that knowledge on to his younger brother.

In addition to the story, The Sugarbag features a brief introduction explaining the technique of collecting Sugarbag as well as a pronunciation guide and definition for the two Wiradjuri words used in the text. There is also a brief bio for both the author and illustrator.

It is wonderful to see indigenous characters in stories for children, raising awareness of the rich and amazing indigenous culture of our country. Author Nola Turner-Jensen and illustrator Dub Leffler have also collaborated on the soon to be released Deadly Readers Series: Saltwater, a beginner reader series featuring indigenous characters and images.

Title: The Sugarbag
Author: Nola Turner-Jensen
Illustrator: Dub Leffler
Publisher: Magabala Books, $14.95 RRP
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Picture book
ISBN: 9781921248474
For ages: 4 - 8 years
Type: Picture book