An Amazing Australian road trip by Jackie Hosking. Illus. by Leslie Vamos

cover image

With Aunty turning sixty, a picnic is in order, but no one is sure where, so the family packs the car and traverses Australia going clockwise from Melbourne, taking in as many of the World Heritage sites that they can.

Each double page, replete with brilliantly coloured and inviting digital illustrations, gives a view somewhere in Australia: Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Coober Pedy, Great Ocean Road, Kakadu amongst others. Each double page has a stanza telling of their quest, and augmented with paragraphs of information about the site being visited.

For example on the pages about Ningaloo Reed, there is a stanza about the family swimming with the whales, except the poem turns the idea on its head, as the whales in this part of Western Australia are Whale Sharks. An illustration of the Whale Shark almost fills the two pages, and has the family swimming around it. Above and below the image of this phenomenal beast are three paragraphs of information about the reef and its creatures. Humour is used to portray Aunty grimacing in the boat as she looks at the creature and the swimming children, unsure herself of what to do.

Australia has 19 World Heritage sites listed, and some are represented in this book for students to find.

Each double page is full of detail, and eager eyes will try and find the World Heritage site along with spotting many Australian icons.

The endpapers have a map of Australia with the route shown, allowing readers to see where the trip is going and also where all the places listed can be found.

A most informative and fun filled book for younger students to acquire knowledge of our hot spots and learn a little of the geography of our island home.

Themes: Australia, World Heritage, Travel, Family.

Fran Knight