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

Saturday 11 February 2023

Review: Dorrie

Have you read Mamie by Tania McCartney? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s a gorgeous retelling of the life of May Gibbs, creator of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

But this isn’t a review about Mamie. This is a review about Dorrie (also by Tania McCartney), an equally stunning retelling of the life of Dorothy Wall, the creator of Blinky Bill.

In Dorrie, a young girl called Dorothy is born. She loves the piano, she loves to sing and she loves to dance. She’s a creative soul, a maker of beautiful things and an adventurer.

Eventually her adventures take her to Australia, and there she continues to create and create until one day… she starts to write about and draw a koala named Blinky Bill.

Filled with imagination, inspiration and whimsy, Dorrie is a delightful tale full of magic. There’s something warming in these pages. Something special that connects you to a true story, but also takes you away on a fantastical journey, with a koala who loves drawing and dancing and wears cool yellow sunglasses. I also love that Dorrie stays a girl throughout the book, even though that doesn’t add up to the real-life timeline. It makes the book super relatable for kids, engaging them from start to finish.

At the back of the book there is a page devoted to the facts, so readers can find out more about Dorothy Wall and the things that happened in her life. It wasn’t an easy life, and Dorothy experienced many ups and downs. McCartney goes through all this in a truthful, but kid-friendly way, so readers can learn about this great creator and her accomplishments.

I feel like a broken record when it comes to McCartney’s illustrations, but they are once again superb. Stunning colours, so perfectly chosen to create the setting, literally hundreds of tiny details to pour over, and deep emotions injected into every expression.

I have so many favourite pages, but I particularly like the ones where Dorrie is creating, because this is where those intricate details really shine  — books and paper and pens and pencils and drawings and scissors and pins and thread and paints and more. You can literally spend hours discovering hidden treasures on these pages. The time it would have taken to create them... they are a true gift.

I really love this kind of non-fiction/fiction/retelling story. It’s such a spectacular way to learn about a real-life someone who did amazing real-life things in a fun, engaging and feels-like-a-hug way.

Tania McCartney and Dorothy Wall have a lot in common. They are both HUGELY talented Australian author/illustrator/creators. Celebrate them both buy picking up a copy of the stunning Dorrie.

Title: Dorrie
Author/Illustrator: Tania McCartney
Publisher: HarperCollins, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 February 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781460760109
For ages: 3 - 6 
Type: Picture Book