Alfie's search for destiny by David Hardy

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Magabala Books, 2013. ISBN 1 92114241 5
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Aboriginal themes. Survival. Family. In searching for his destiny, Alfie wanders away from home, looking under rocks, and into the sky, looking behind trees. He runs from the croc rearing up beneath the river, and escapes from the snake hanging down from the tree, until he finds a group of animals. He asks them what his destiny is, but they are unable to answer. Eventually the boy returns home and hearing the voices of his mum and dad, realises that his life is with them, his destiny is at home.
In rhyming text, the tale of Alfie searching all the while for his destiny, and finally realising his place is at home, represents us all in our search for the question about the meaning of life and why we are here. The story reflects the need of all children to be given space but within the context of a warm loving, family.
The background illustrations show the range of territory that Alfie wanders over, exposing the Northern Australian environment to another audience, and Hardy's time spent in the studios of Walt Disney clearly has influenced his work. A touch of Manga will also appeal to the younger readers, eager to pick up a book which exemplifies the stability and base that a loving family offers all children.
Fran Knight