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Wednesday 20 November 2013

Review: Burning the Bails: The Story of the Ashes

When the Australian cricket team defeated England by just seven runs at the Oval in London on 29 August 1882, a reporter for The Sporting Times published an obituary notice for English cricket. How did this tongue-in-cheek response to England’s loss lead to what we now know as The Ashes, the ongoing cricketing showdown between Australia and England?

Burning the Bails: The Story of the Ashes is a fictionalised account of the events of 1882 linked to the creation of The Ashes legend. The story, told from the perspective of six-year-old Russell Clarke, explains how the English cricket captain came to be presented with an urn of ashes that remains a symbol of the cricketing rivalry between Australia and England to this day.

A wonderful mixture of facts and historical fiction, Burning the Bails shares the story of The Ashes accompanied by paintings by Ainsley Walters and a few photographs from the time, including an image of the obituary notice that started it all.

Author Krista Bell helps young readers relate to this historic tale by narrating the story from the perspective of Russell Clarke, the son of Lady Clarke who presented the English captain Ivo Bligh with an urn containing the ashes of burned cricket bails. The book also contains an information section about the Clarke family and their connection with the English cricket team and the events leading to the presentation of The Ashes for those children who are interested in the facts behind the story.

Burning the Bails: The Story of the Ashes is the ideal picture book for young cricket fans, those interested in Australian history and anyone who enjoys an interesting story.

Title: Burning the Bails: The Story of the Ashes
Author: Krista Bell
Illustrator: Ainsley Walters
Publisher: One Day Hill, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: November 2013
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780987313980
For ages: 5-8
Type: Picture Book