Review Blog

Mar 22 2010

Jasper and Abby and the great Australia Day kerfuffle by Kevin Rudd and Rhys Muldoon

cover image

Ill. by Carla Zapel. Allen and Unwin, 2010.
ISBN 978 1742373294. Picture book. Staff and residents at The Lodge, in Canberra are preparing to celebrate Australia Day. People from all over the country have brought goodies from their own districts. Dancers have arrived from Darwin, with the Nambour nanas presenting a knitted Australian flag to be flown, and ambassadors from Africa have arrived for the festivities. Trouble erupts when the sausages go missing, and the marquee falls to the ground. The Prime Minister's dog and cat are deemed to be the culprits and they are sent upstairs. From this vantage point they espy the real culprit and stop the dog in its tracks before it can destroy the flag. The festivities can then run smoothly.
A meandering tale of animals saving the day, the story will entertain young readers looking for an easy read. The derivative storyline has little new to stimulate the more precocious and experienced reader, but it improves on reading aloud. The illustrations, though showing lots of action, are stiff and clumsy, with many quite unnatural arrangements of animal legs and bodies.
This picture book however, fills a niche telling a story about Australia Day in a humorous way. It will find a place in libraries and classrooms when talking of that day or other festivals.
Fran and Mark Knight

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