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

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Review: Caroline

Mark Wilson’s divine biographical picture book on Caroline Chisholm is not her life story alone, but also another superb work of art by this multi-talented creator. 

Meaningful, precise text draws the reader into the depicted era through dress styles, surroundings, architecture, and social norms.

Wilson’s brilliant full-page colour illustrations contend with his back ink ones. The images are like photographs – distinct; ablaze on the page. 

Beauty fills the reader’s vision and draws sighs of utter satisfaction. This includes the breathtaking end pages.

Descriptions of Caroline’s life of care and responsibility for others, specifically for migrant

women that filled the streets in Australia (as she too was an emigrant), are evidence of the selfless contributions to humanity that filled her life from early childhood.

A tireless fund-raiser for the poor, a ship was named in her honour, which was used, with several others, to transport migrant women and children to Australia from England.

When the gold rush began she ensured that families had proper living quarters and supplies. Never accepting charity for herself, even after she became gravely ill, Caroline died in poverty but left a legacy of love, sacrifice and kindness that will never be forgotten.

 This biography belongs on every bookcase in homes and libraries. With a double-spread timeline at the end, it is the ideal basis for Australian history lessons and the perfect salutation to a woman who left an indelible mark on every person she encountered.

Title: Caroline
Author/Illustrator: Mark Wilson
Publisher: Windy Hollow Books, $ 27.99
Publication Date: 1 August 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922081018
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book