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

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Review: Our Australian HeArt

Our Australian HeArt is a stunning book which gathers creative people from across Australia to answer the question, ‘What’s in Your Australian heart?’ 

Their responses are as different as their illustration and writing styles – distinctive, heartfelt and compelling. In classic picture book format, the sixteen contributing children’s book illustrators, teachers, artists, zoologists, poets and all-round creative souls are each allocated a double-page spread to answer the question. 

This means that every page ‘turn’ delivers the reader a new sense of awe, wonder and appreciation. It’s a little bit like receiving a reassuring hug from a series of unrelated people – you go on quite a journey and feel lovely at the end of it!

We wander through a colourful Australian city night market, seek out tiny mementos on the bush floor, traverse rocky red landscapes, run with wild brumbies, explore fields of flowers and dive into pristine oceans.

While the written components of the book are presented as general prose or poetry, the illustration techniques include mixed media, collage, pen and wash, pastel, watercolour, acrylic, oil and combinations of these. I was actually reminded of studio sittings, where a dozen people paint the exact same vase of flowers in completely different ways. This wonderful variation of styles creates an ‘alive’ quality of adventure through the pages of Our Australian HeArt.  

As well as being the perfect addition to every library, classroom and home bookshelf, proceeds from book sales will go to the The Indigenous Literacy Foundation. 

So that’s two excellent reasons to rush out and grab your copy! 

Keep an eye out for our special feature Guest Posts by some of the artists involved in this project. Coming soon!

Title: Our Australian HeArt
Author: Anthology
Publisher: Daisy Lane, $32.99
Publication Date: 1 December 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780645842722
For Ages: All ages
Type: Picture Book