Review Blog

Mar 08 2017

Shearing time by Allison Paterson

cover image

Ill. by Shane McGrath. Big Sky Publishing, 2016. ISBN 97819235520095
(age: 5+) Warmly recommended. Sheep shearing, Station life, Sheep, Australian rural life. Told by the daughter of the sheep station, this homage to the bush will entertain and inform those who read it. All the elements of shearing time on a station are shown: rounding up the sheep with the motorbikes, herding them into the yard, shearers cleaning their combs, finally shearing, sorting the fleeces, and dinner time for the workers then going back to work. Each element is shown in some detail, enabling the people who do not have access to how a farm is run, to see it all very clearly. The vibrant illustrations serve the text well, making sure younger readers will empathise with the young girl on her motorbike, doing chores around the farm that they think that adults usually do. She will be seen as someone their age doing extraordinary things.
Readers will be able to see the sort of life lived on a station by other people, and given a glimpse of life beyond the cities and towns. One image shows the life years before when horses and wagons were used to haul the fleeces to the market, giving the reader a hint of times long past.
A page at the end of the book gives a glossary of sorts, with information about shearing time and sheep dogs,a s well as a list of words used int he text with their meanings. All in all this book is a worthy contribution to a library's miscellany of books about Australia, books about other people's lives an of course, about an almost iconic part of Australian rural life - shearing.
Fran Knight

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