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

Thursday 20 April 2023

Review: Life In A Hollow

As the possums and parrots and skinks have all shown, one little hollow can provide many a home.

This interesting and wonderfully informative picture book speaks to the reader in a conversational and engaging manner. It shows how tree hollows are made, and outlines their importance in providing a safe space for animals both large and small.

Life In A Hollow is jam- packed with tidbits and information outlining the real-estate potential of tree hollows for some of our favourite critters, and it also discusses those creatures that aren’t so cute and cuddly. 

Told in rhyme that works best when read out loud, the story begins with the falling of a tree branch. Beetles move in and eat away at the tree, leaving room for the small hollow’s next inhabitants – which happen to be beetles. And so we are introduced to the growth of the hollow along with each new set of tenants; among them bats, crimson rosellas, skinks and possums. 

The illustrations are friendly, warm and soft, even when depicting squidgy skinks or creepy crawly beetles. The bats are actually rather cute and there’s an accessibility to all of the pictures that feels welcoming and safe.

The simple beauty of this book allows the reader to seamlessly follow the narrative, and then be directed to conduct more research if desired. To assist with this, the book contains several pages of facts about the creatures we have met, further information about the formation of tree hollows and a glossary of scientific terms.

And of course, the teachers’ notes (aligned to the Australian Curriculum), make this one a no-brainer for following up within the classroom and beyond.

A valuable resource.

Title: Life In A Hollow
Author: David Gullan
Illustrator: Suzanne Houghton
Publisher: CSIRO $24.99
Publication Date: April 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781486316342
For ages: 5 - 9
Type: Picture Book