Rockhopping by Trace Balla
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760112349
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Bushwalking; Natural environment; Exploration. This is the companion text to the book Rivertime and in this book Clancy and Uncle Egg explore the Grampians and look for the source of the River. They pack for a walking trek through the Grampians region, trekking up craggy rocks and through the delight of the natural environment. The long arduous walk carrying heavy packs and a dangerous cliff top near-accident does not dampen their enthusiasm for the way the natural environment reveals itself to those who have time to look. Balla's Cartoon style, graphic novel includes a wealth of small captioned details that give the reader an insight into the variety of life within the environment and some of the historical perspectives of the region, including its Aboriginal history and view of the world. Clancy demonstrates incredible resilience as he overcomes difficulty, but he also discerns the joy of discovery as the world unfolds before him.
Balla's beautiful and simple illustrations are enchanting. The narrative is also delightful, telling of the journey, but also revealing the wonderful relationship between Clancy and his uncle and the simple pleasures of being outdoors.