Review Blog

Feb 20 2020

Meet Taj at the Lighthouse by Maxine Beneba Clarke and Nicki Greenberg

cover image

Aussie Kids series. Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760894528.
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Puffin's new Aussie Kids series is written for emerging readers and introduces fun characters who live in special places around Australia.
Taj loves wearing his lightning bolt t-shirt, it makes him feel like he can do anything. With his Mama and Dadda they left behind their close family and friends and a strife-ridden country to move to Australia. At first things are difficult, different foods, language and his father can't find work. His mother encourages him to believe things will turn out, even when he feels discouraged.
When Dadda comes home and tells them to pack up Taj is surprised. The family journey down the Great Ocean Road surrounded by all their belongings. To Taj's surprise they stop at a lighthouse with a little cottage on the side. His father has a new job as the lighthouse guide and Taj has a new school to attend. His new classmates are friendly, asking him about the lighthouse and his background. Taj explains about his special t-shirt and the teacher announces he will be called Taj Lightning from now on.
Maxine Beneba Clarke's story helps young readers with feelings of being in a new country, overcoming and facing fears and the problems facing immigrant children. Inclusivity and acceptance are key values, presented through loving words and encouragement to be brave.
Blue and black tones fill the pages; Taj's t-shirt is bold and bright. Nicki Greenberg captures the children's emotions as they surround Taj in the classroom, she shows his growth and happiness in finding his special place - joining the Nippers and practising rescuing. Fun facts about lighthouses are included as well. Themes: Immigrant children, School life, Inclusivity.
Rhyllis Bignell

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries