Review Blog

Jun 11 2013

Riley and the Jumpy Kangaroo by Tania McCartney

cover image

Ill. by Kieron Pratt. Ford Street Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9781925000023.Hbk.
Riley is an aviator who likes to travel with his friends in his red tin plane and see the world and explore other cities and countries - usually in search of some pesky critter who likes to hide! Following his adventures in Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne, this adventure takes him to Canberra in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our nation's capital. Starting with being startled by strange noises in the chamber of Parliament House, Riley dashes outside to discover a kangaroo popping and pinging all over those famous lawns. Jumping into his little red plane with his friends Panda, Dragon, Lion, Koala and Wombat, they follow the kangaroo on a journey around the famous landmarks of Canberra, coming to rest when she finally finds what she's lost.
It is the illustrations which give this book its charm - cartoon-like graphics superimposed on actual photos of the Canberra landscape which tickled Miss 6's fancy. As a native of Canberra the places were very familiar to her and she loved pointing them out and telling me stories about them. Her favourite is Questacon followed by the National Museum of Australia.
But this is not just a book for Canberra children. As the national capital, the city has a number of significant buildings such as Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Library of Australia, all of which are free to visitors, so as well as being a great souvenir of a visit, it would also be a great introduction particularly for groups planning to visit here.
A great addition to all that is happening in Canberra in 2013 http://canberra100.com.au/ and worth a place on the shelves. Where would Riley and his friends visit if they came to your town?
Barbara Braxton

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