Review Blog

May 08 2020

Scribbly Gum Secrets by Dannika Patterson

cover image

Illus. by Megan Forward. Ford Street Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925804485. Unpaged
(Ages 6+) This rather unassuming picture book has taken me by surprise. The reader goes on the same very special journey that the family does. Mum decides that the children need to accompany her on a nearby bushwalk. Reluctant at first, they are soon distracted by simple yet delightful discoveries as they walk along a dry gravel track through semi tropical bush.
The illustrations, though lacking in sophistication, are evocative and deceptively meaningful. Just as the creatures are hiding, the illustrations only gradually reveal the detail and variety of the surroundings.
A number of double page spreads encompass extensive parts of the bush, alternating with close up views of newly discovered things.
Megan Forward has combined softly drawn watercolour hues with the occasional photographed detail of leaves, blossoms and feathers. This technique works well.
The text is simple but effective and provides for more thoughtful exploration by the reader. Teacher's notes are available.
Julie Wells

Editor's note: I loved this book. Highly recommended. BUY IT ON booktopia
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