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

Monday 16 October 2023

Review: Shearer

This is the true story of one Australian shearer’s life, his determination, and fearless character.

In 1892, Jack Howe, in seven hours and forty minutes, sheared 321 sheep to create a world record.  

 It remains unbeaten.

Born in Darling Downs in Queensland, the remainder of his interesting biography can be found at the end of the book with an original photo of Jack.

A big man in many ways, his greatest love was shearing, and he perfected this craft.

Challenged by the other shearers for the gold medal, Jack as ringer, was unfazed. Confident and quick, the others said he couldn’t shear 300 sheep in one day.

That’s all Jack needed to spur him on further.

Every type of sheep farmer turned up to watch and cheer him on.  

There were those that tried every trick they knew to distract him, but there was no stopping Jack Howe.

Neridah McMullin’s text brings to life, the story of this impressive and important, outback Australian hero. She has in the limited text, given readers a magnificent overall view of Jack’s life, his jovial character and impressive accomplishments.

Michael Tomkins is to be applauded for his stunning depictions of the scenes in the shearing sheds, of the distractors, and efforts to hold him back which are hilarious! 

Every page has a full-page illustration; large and commanding like Jack.

Shearer is Tomkins’ first illustrated children’s book.

This title is ideal for the Australian history section in schools. There isn’t an age limit to the storyline, in my opinion, therefore even adults will thrill to read this excellent picture book.

Title: Shearer
Author: McMullin
Illustrator: Michael Tomkins
Publisher:Walker Books, $ 26.99
Publication Date: September 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760653163
For ages: 4 – 8
Type: Non Fiction Picture B