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

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Review: Dugong Magic

A mother Dugong gives birth. Her calf is taught how to breathe, drink, move its tail and eat. These are lessons of duty taught by all mothers in the deep waters along with echoed tales and legends of old.

While learning these things, the calf must also know how to act quickly when danger threatens.

Predators of the deep are not the only danger. The threat posed to all marine life by humans is something they can’t swim away from. Dumped building materials from houses built by the sea steal the sun when they get washed into the water.

Fast speed boats in shallow waters pose different threats. Fish nets are traps for mother Dugongs whose babies die without their protection.

Dugong Magic subtly calls attention to the harm inflicted on sea creatures while it shares an intimate picture of the life and habits of Dugongs. Purposely thought-provoking in its approach, it stirs the conscience and serves to impresses on younger generations, the importance of caring for our environment.

Gifted and word perfect, Deborah Kelly’s passion for marine biology shines in her work. She uses story-telling as a conduit for strong messages about the responsibility we all have, regardless of age, to respect and protect all living things wherever they are found.

Lisa Stewart’s delicate images form like a whisper on page after page, while a complete page of Dugong Facts is sure to stimulate thought in the future caretakers of our world.

Other Deborah Kelly picture books include The Bouncing Ball, Jam for Nana and Dinosaur Disco. But it is The Thing About Oliver, a CBCA 2020 Notable, and her first book for older readers that is spellbinding! It reveals the tremendous talent and versatility this writer has and gives us a taste of things to come.

Title: Dugong Magic
Author: Deborah Kelly
Illustrator: Lisa Stewart
Publisher: Hachette, $15.99
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780734419965
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book