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

Monday 28 October 2013

Review: Everything We Ever Saw

Roland Harvey’s family holiday adventure books are some of my favourite picture books. Showcasing a variety of distinctive Australian environments, from the bustling city to the remote Top End and the bush to the beach, these books are a wonderful tribute to family, fun and the diversity of our Australian culture and landscape.

Everything We Ever Saw is a compilation of Harvey’s six holiday adventure books:
At the Beach
In the Bush
In the City
To the Top End (KBR review)
All the Way to WA (KBR review)
On the Farm (KBR review)

Each story shares the experiences of Mum, Dad, Henry, Penny and Frankie as they travel to different locations around Australia for their family holiday. Roland Harvey’s detailed illustrations are filled with humour and guarantee hours of entertainment and you’re sure to spot something new each time you pick up this book. It isn’t simply a matter of funny drawings, however. Many of the illustrated pages are strikingly beautiful, depicting sunsets, tropical rainforests, rainbow-coloured coral reefs and a variety of other picturesque settings.

The text balances humour and facts, merging information about the various scenes with the kind of stories and experiences that create the most memorable family holidays. The illustrations are a story in themselves and the text adds an extra level of enjoyment for those children old enough to read along.

Everything We Ever Saw is presented in a much more compact format than the original stories. While this will save space on the bookshelf and makes this book ideal for posting to family and friends overseas, it can be a little harder to spot some of the fantastic details on the smaller pages than it is on the larger pages of the individual books.

I have always enjoyed these picture books by Roland Harvey and love that I can now easily flick through all six books in one. These stories capture not just the scenes, but the laidback humour and sense of fun that really represents Australia and Australians.

If you don’t already have these books on your bookshelf, then now is the perfect time to start. Pick up a copy of Everything We Ever Saw and get all six at once!

Title: Everything We Ever Saw
Author/Illustrator: Roland Harvey
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 23 October 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781743313671
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book