Born to sing by Sally Morgan

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Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus (Scholastic) 21015. ISBN 9781742991511
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family. Music. Whales. Maddie loves to sing. She makes up her own songs and sings everywhere. One of her songs is about the whales that swim near the coast north of Perth. One day her family announces that the boys and Dad will go to Tasmania, while Maddie, her mum and Gran will go north to see the whales. They are to take the caravan that mum bought at a garage sale, and Maddie is a little dismayed that it may not survive its ten hour journey. They pack the car and the van and set off driving the first five hours easily and stopping overnight at a caravan park. The next day it is not the van that breaks down, but the car, and they wait along the side of the road for someone to stop and help them. The older man who stops and cleans their spark plugs gives them his son's business card. He takes tourists out to see the whales but warns the women that the boats this year are mainly booked. Mum is distraught, she feels she has let Maddie down, but when they get to Denham, Maddie makes friends with a girl swimming with her, and when they come out of the water, they find that her grandfather is the man who stopped on the road. All ends happily when he takes them on their own trip out to see the whales. A gentle story about families and their holiday, Morgan also includes conservation themes, along with a reminder that we all need to support one another.
Fran Knight