Review Blog

Oct 28 2019

Mining and me by Michael Martucci

cover image

Illus. by Naya and Kostya Lazareva. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839210.
(Age: 3-8) Richly illustrated with the reds, yellows and browns of the outback, Mining and me is a special book that describes the life of a 'fly in, fly out' family. Martucci's father was a 'fly in, fly out' miner, and he himself is a second generation 'fly in, fly out' worker, so he brings an in-depth understanding of what family life is life for both the children and the parents of these workers. He describes the background to the story in an article in Mining People International.
Written as a poem, the reader follows the story of a young boy who has moved around Australia from Queensland to the Northern Territory, his father working in different mines. He has '. . . a parent who stayed, A parent who left' and he describes the feelings of the child and the love that both his father and mother showed him. The loving relationship in the family is very evident in the way the children interact with their parents, and how the young child grows up to be a loving father himself. An evocative touch was the picture of his father as an older man, watching his grandchildren. The strong message in the book was that the father does it for love of his family, 'It was for them, to grow up happy and strong.'
The illustrations are done in water colours and the backgrounds are particularly evocative of the outback mines and countryside. Children will love the wide eyed characters and cute little dog and recognise the family life that features throughout the book.
Mining and me will be a boon for any family who has a 'fly in, fly out' family member, providing great bedtime reading and will give the wider community a greater understanding of what it is like to be part of a mining family.
Pat Pledger

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