Review Blog

Sep 24 2018

The Gum Family finds home Tania McCartney

cover image

Ill. by Christina Booth. NLA Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9780642279255
(Ages: 4-7) Recommended. Themes: Australia - Geography, Koalas. The Gum family wants a rock-solid home. Mum is determined to move from their unreliable eucalyptus tree and she plans their journey around Australia while dad packs the caravan. Mum's list includes a friendly community, not close to humans, undercover with views. Where will this family of koalas find the perfect spot to settle down?
They travel across Australia, stopping at iconic locations including Uluru, The Three Sisters and Cradle Mountain. The Gum family explore the stunning Australian landscapes, marvelling at the geographical features and observing the flora and fauna. A helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungle ranges shows the deep canyons and sandstone formations. With large forests of eucalypts, will the Blue Mountains become their new home?
Tania McCartney's gorgeous descriptions, bring the scenery to life - imagine walking through 'the ancient rainforests, glacier-carved valleys and golden moorlands' on the Overland Track in Tasmania. Interesting geographical facts about Australia's unique geology are included at the back of the book. Her engaging story centres around the truth that your home is where your family is. She shows the caring relationships between each of the Gum family members.
Christina Booth's creative and colourful illustrations show broad vistas, close-up scenes, montages of real photos and boldly painted scenes, family photos and the cheeky young koalas Leaf and Nut creatively posing.
The Gum Family finds home is a charming, informative story that celebrates home-life, family and Australia. Tania McCartney and Christina Booth's creative synergy make this a wonderful story just right for sharing with a young family, at a preschool or with a Junior Primary class. What a great stepping stone into Science and Geography, exploring natural and man-made objects, Australian landscapes, housing or wildlife. A great resource for an information report on koalas - comparing the facts and fiction elements of this picture book.
Rhyllis Bignell

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