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

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Review: Meet Banjo Paterson

Welcome to another book in the popular Meet series. I love these books that inform and educate by introducing Australians that contributed to this country’s history, growth and change. This is a story about how Banjo Patterson, one of Australia’s most loved poets, came to write The Man from Snowy River and Waltzing Matilda.
All my senses responded to the descriptive narrative.

Banjo loved outback life. He loved every sound and smell of his surroundings, from the jangle of the spurs to the dust lifted by the horses’ hooves. Although he worked as a lawyer when he became a man, his heart remained with the bush. He recalled every movement and sound that wasn’t with him anymore, and started to write about life in the outback in poetic form.

He loved horses. Everything and everyone associated with them inspired his writing. These later became his bush ballads. Funny, entertaining stories about bushrangers, stockmen, drovers, mountain horsemen and outback characters filled his poems. Every oral story became a poem. This was how The Man from Snowy River was born.

It was a story told to him about a swagman that became Waltzing Matilda. Then music was added and the poem became a song.

This is a wonderful, informative series which overseas visitors adore as much as Australians do. They get a fantastic view of our country, particularly the outback, its history, and the colourful characters that shaped it. It’s a piece of Australia that they can take back with them. James Gulliver Hancock has done an exemplary job of translating the text with strong lines, earthy colours and vivid images of both city and country life.

Title: Meet Banjo Patterson (Meet... series)
Author: Kristin Weidenbach
Illustrator: James Gulliver Hancock
Publisher: Random House, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780857980083
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book

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