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

Saturday 16 March 2019

Review: Yahoo Creek

This is now the third creature seen in these parts resembling the hairy man — Clarence and Richman Examiner and New England Advertiser, 21 October 1881.

Yahoo Creek is a magical and refreshingly unique non-fiction picture book that delves into legend and culture.

The book is a series of newspaper articles  dating back to 1847.

Each article reports sightings of the hairy man/yowie/big foot/yeti — a large man-like creature covered in fur that stalks through the bush. 

Bushman at various times have reported that they had seen an immense ape-like animal, but it had always managed to escape them — Mercury, 18 October 1912.

Interspersed between the newspaper articles, Peter Williams, Ngiyampaa Elder, tells the story of the Berai, an important spiritual figure that has a physical body.

The Berai is nine feet tall with wide shoulders and reddish hair all over, and Williams explains that when Europeans first encountered the hairy man in the bush, it may have been looking to connect with them. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand. 

Tohby Riddle’s illustrations add magic to the storytelling — shadowy prints in blues, greys and white. Every page is stunning and will transport you into the mystery, bringing you closer to the hairy man and his journey.

At the back of the book you’ll find insight into the story from Tohby himself, where he provides more information about the legends of the hairy man, explains the meaning of the title of the book and talks about some of the process behind the book’s creation.

This is a fantastic and fascinating non-fiction picture book for lovers of history, culture and legends. It's a picture book for a slightly older audience (around seven to 10), and schools and classrooms are going to love it for its thrilling and discussion-sparking content.

Yahoo Creek is brilliant and fresh. It will send chills down your spine and have you thinking, questioning and wondering.

For more Tohby Riddle magic, make sure you check out Here Comes Stinkbug! and Unforgotten.

Title: Yahoo Creek
Author/Illustrator: Tohby Riddle
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $29.99
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781760631451
For ages: 7 - 11 
Type: Picture Book