Alfred Deakin by Belinda Beattie

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Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925545777.
(Age: Primary - Middle school) Alfred Deakin by Belinda Beattie is an interesting picture book showcasing the contributions made by our second Prime Minister. The book is fact based, and delves into many parts of his life, not just politics, but his physical features, likes and dislikes and family situation. I thought this book was extremely informative, giving me a broad understanding of who Alfred Deakin was and where his ideals came from. I liked that they did not paint a rosy portrait of him and told of his racist views towards the Indigenous Australians. Belinda Beattie did this in such a way that it was just another part of the story and it did not 'taint' the ending.
The illustrations by Maxwell Tilse are lovely, with many of the characters showing the feelings of the times through facial expressions and colour. I felt that the pictures really added depth and further understandings to the text.
One of my favourite parts of the story were the little tid-bits of information like the total number of days he was in office (1174), the meaning behind the name of his house 'Llanarth' and his love of books and speech-making!
I think that this book would be a good addition to any library for the use of primary to middle school students learning about past Australian leaders. It is factual, thought-provoking whilst being easy for a multitude of students to read.
Lauren Fountain