Review Blog

Sep 18 2014

The masked echidna by Michael Salmon

cover image

Five Mile Press, 2014. ISBN 9781760063061.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour. Australian animals. Bullying. Echidna fancies himself a superhero, especially after spending his days watching his favourite films on his huge TV. So when the Wombat Brothers come to town bothering the population of the tiny hamlet of Black Stump out west, he decides to act. He builds himself a supercar, and with his assistant, Miss Kylie, takes messages of help from the populace.
A very funny look at courage and taking a stand against bullies, the story will resonate with many readers, following the antics of the bullying brothers and the efforts of the echidna in stopping them. Readers will laugh out loud at the methods the echidna uses, and the strange things that the brothers do to create havoc.
Salmon's pictorial style is infectious, with heavily outlined pictures of various Australian animals showing a variety of skills and talents. The background is instantly recognisable with its dugouts, paling fences, windmills and gum trees, all adding to the humour and interest in the story.
Younger readers will love the antics of the animals, and recognise situations they may like to discuss in a classroom, where bullying is under discussion.
Fran Knight

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