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Childrens Book Week Reviews – Why I Love Australia

Here is the next of our Childrens Book Week reviews:

Why I Love Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft

Why I Love Australia is a feast for the eyes and verse for the soul!
Written and illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft – a highly acclaimed children's illustrator, and an artist in her own right the author's Aboriginal heritage shines through in every landscape on every page. The stunning artworks are intricate, vibrant and unique, exemplifying a modern slant to an age-old art form.
This beautiful book takes us on a journey, illustrating perfectly the paradox that is Australia, as we travel from snow-covered mountain ranges to shell-strewn beaches, from the stars of the desert sky to the lights of the city skyline, from the flowing rivers and rainforests to the sprawling suburbs and bushland, along the way highlighting images that are quintessentially Australian.
Bronwyn has cleverly intertwined, through imagery and art, our Australia of today with her ancient heritage, acknowledging the Ancestors and Elders of our land, both past and present – keep an eye out for the depiction of a man holding a smoking coolamon bowl that appears on each landscape, representing the traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony.
Although this book is aimed at children in the hope of inspiring them to a love of their country, adults too will gain a new perspective and sense of pride for this place we call Australia. All generations would enjoy this cultural piece and it would not be out of place as a beautiful gift for overseas guests as a precious keepsake.

Review by Fiona Gallagher

Why I Love Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft

Why I Love Australia is a Pre-school book short on text but big on colour. The dot paintings evoke the spirit of recognisable Australian landscapes from the coast and city to the outback.
It is a celebration of the uniqueness of Australia that is instantly appealing to the eye and poetically described .There's a bush cricket wicket, an urban patchwork of rooftops, the” white cloaks” of the Snowy Mountains. I love the images of Centrepoint Tower and “modern city lights like a jewelled necklace adorning an ancient landscape”.
The underlying theme is one of respect for heritage and cultural traditions and each page includes a picture representing the Aboriginal smoking ceremony. The book lends itself to Aboriginal and environmental studies in classrooms, is perfect to share with small groups and I highly recommend it to all Australian kids and our visitors. Adult readers would also appreciate immensely, the artwork and dreamtime references emerging from the book.

Review by Caroline Eisenhauer

Bronwyn Bancroft's book Why I Love Australia was awarded an honour in the Picture Book of the Year section of Childrens Book Council of Australia 2011 Awards.

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