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

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Review: The Littlest Bushranger

How lovely to see a celebration of Australian childhood in this adorable story about a kid with a very big imagination.

Jack sees his big sister off to school. He's too little for school but he's not too little to go on adventures. Using his sister's telescope, he spies over the backyard fence when suddenly a shadow swoops down from above, snatching the telescope from his hands.

An outlaw!

Jack throws on his helmet and mounts his ride. No swooping outlaw is going to outsmart this gutsy ranger!

Off he gallops, through scorching desert, over slithering snake, through a bunyip-infested billabong, crashing through a tangled rainforest until he tracks down that outlaw and retrieves what is rightfully his.

It's not until the end of this book, when Jack returns to the backyard gate, just in time to greet his sister home from school, that children will parallel Jack's feisty journey with the everyday. A slithering snake hose, a desert sandpit, a blow-up pool billabong, all encased in a backyard packed with imaginative play.

Alison Reynolds has written a gorgeous book that beautifully represents childhood in full flight. Heath McKenzie's timeless illustrations take her text and cast the magic spell at its core - revealing to the reader the very essence of this story - that of adventure and courage and the ability to do or be anything, if only though the power of our imagination.

Title: The Littlest Bushranger
Author: Alison Reynolds
Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Publisher: The Five Mile Press, $14.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 June 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781743464977
For ages: 5 - 8
Type: Picture Book