Review Blog

Jan 23 2019

Alcheringa Flowers: A book about Spring by Toni Cary

cover image

Little Steps, 2018. ISBN: 9781925839111.
(Age: 7+) Themes: Seasons, Dogs, Snowy Mountains - Flora and Fauna. Toni Cary's love of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, the flora and fauna, bushland, creeks, farms and mountain peaks shine through in Alcheringa Flowers. This is a celebration of Springtime, renewal, and new life 'bringing with it a fresh experience of discovery.' Her wonderfully descriptive phrases capture the changes in weather from light zephyr breezes to 'heartwarming sunshine and breathtakingly beautiful storms.' Cary's alliterative phrases and lovely descriptions evoke the emotions the author feels in her familiar environments.
Told by Francine the Pyrenean mountain dog, a friend and protector to the creatures who live here, we see the world from her perspective. Franc the European goldfinch lines his 'compact-cup shaped nest' with the dog's fur. She completes a circuit at dawn and dusk, observing the lizards', skinks' and frogs' activities. Later in the morning Francine listens to Egbert the emu's grunting as he cares for his 'nine huge teal-coloured eggs'. Danger is averted in the Egg Manor chook yard when Rene the fox is quickly chased away by the barking growling dog. Follow Bijou the brumby, Ella Emu and Morris Magpie as they travel on a lengthy journey with Francine in search of a koala family.
Moments of joy, keen observations and environmental messages are contained in Toni Carey's Alcheringa Flowers. Her detailed pastel pencil illustrations capture closeups of the flora and fauna, the colourful skies and landscapes. Silvery outlines and bright flashes add sparkle. Using white text on colourful backgrounds is at times difficult to read; accessibility is important for all readers.
Her four Alcheringa stories will cover the seasons in the Snowy Mountains, Alcheringa Snow, Flowers, Sunshine and Rain.
For animal lovers and those who enjoy the wonders of the Australian landscape this is a story just right for sharing.
Rhyllis Bignell

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