Review Blog

Oct 01 2013

The mostly true story of Matthew and Trim by Cassandra Golds

cover image

Ill. by Stephen Axelsen. Penguin, 2005. ISBN 9780143302179.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Australian history. Graphic novel. Matthew Flinders. Cats. Adventure. A touch of fantasy brings the statue of Trim alive to communicate once again with his owner, Captain Matthew Flinders. The two statues take pride of place outside the Mitchell Library in Sydney, where Flinders' statue was erected in 1925, and Trim's in 1998. Both statues commemorate the courage, daring and abilities of Flinders in his exploration and cartography. He is responsible for the naming of Australia, and was the first to circumnavigate and map this island. His cat Trim, which accompanied him, has a large following, with several books devoted to him, the first written by Flinders, as well as the naming of the shop within the library. Another statue of Flinders in his home town in England, also has a cat winding its way around the legs of the seafarer.
So Golds and Axelsen had plenty to work with in their graphic novel outlining the lives of this adventurous pair. When the clock strikes midnight outside the library the two statues come alive and together reminisce about their beginnings and the adventures they had. In this way, Golds treats her readers to a fabulous overview of the life and achievements of Flinders, and his cat, Trim, who sailed with him. Axelsen's illustrations provide a wonderfully alive chronological parade of their doings, and add prodigiously to the facts presented. The accuracy of the illustrations with regards to costume, shipping, and housing will teach the students much about the time between 1788 when Australia first saw English settlers, and 1814 when Flinders died. It is a poignant story of a man feted by History but largely ignored by those who employed him. All this the author and illustrator have achieved in their graphic novel to allow a new generation of students to learn of his place in our history. With the new curriculum and its emphasis on Australian History, this book is well placed to be at least on every school library shelf, if not with a class set for middle to upper primary students to learn about an explorer who did so much for Australia.
Fran Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates