Review Blog

Apr 17 2013

Boondaburra by Natalie Lonsdale

cover image

Even Before Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 9781922074553.
Boondaburra, the platypus, is different to the other Australian animals that he meets. Because of this, he is teased and rejected by them, retreating to his burrow where his mother placates him. She tells him that he has been made as the Creator has chosen for him to be; that he is unique and that diversity is an important part of the world. Shortly thereafter, a massive fire destroys the bountiful bushland of their home. His mother expresses her concern for the other animals and together the two head off to offer help and assist with finding food for the other survivors. When Bondaburra pokes his head out of the muddy billabong, he sees an injured kookaburra. Before he can offer assistance, the bird is threatened by a large snake. Using his poison spur, Boondy drives the snake away and provides food for kookaburra. As the other animals slowly return to the area, some months later, they hear the tale of the brave platypus. Immediately, they begin to accept him and value him for his differences.
This book is published by Wombat books under the imprint of their Christian publishing label. Despite its strong Christian messages of love, caring, acceptance and diversity, this book could be used in any setting as there is no reference to God but merely the Creator. The story of Boondaburra could be used to discuss not just bullying and differences between people or groups but also the Australian creatures and the effects of natural disasters. The detailed realistic watercolour illustrations which use earthy tones, as well as a clever page of jigsaw pieces which depict small parts of a variety of animals, provide a wonderful backdrop to this story.
Jo Schenkel

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