Showing posts with label icons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label icons. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Australia Illustrated


Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney (EK Books) PB RRP $32.99 ISBN: 9781925335880

By Anne Helen Donnelly

The book starts out with three adjectives to aptly describe our nation: big, beautiful and diverse. The messages in this book are primarily conveyed through bright and quirky illustrations. It lists all things uniquely Australian, and all the things we love about our home, from a child’s focus.

After the bold introductory statement, the book goes onto show native and endangered Australian animals, iconic and bush foods, precious rocks, sport we love and play, swim wear, slang (one of my favourite pages, as after 38 years in Australia, I’m proud to say I am familiar with all of them), various weather around our continent and famous Aussies.  

Each state is then explored, starting with New South Wales. There are landmarks, popular attractions, famous eats and all things each state is best known for and their pride and joys. One of my favourite pages is the Great Barrier Reef page, with different schools of stunning fish intermingling – just like the real thing!

An engaging visual reference guide to all things Australian. Great for natives as well as those wanting to take a glimpse into our culture. Recommended for ages 4 – 8 year olds.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Doodles Activity Book

Doodles Activity Book by Ludo Studios (Allen and Unwin) PB RRP $16.99   ISBN 9781760295448

Reviewed by Daniela Andrews

‘Draw, Snap, Send, Laugh’ … simple, right?

This interactive activity book is a fun accompaniment to the Australian, Emmy-Nominated TV show, Doodles, currently screening on ABC ME. The idea is that kids use the prompts in the book to draw a picture, take a photo of their creation, and upload it to the Doodles website. If their picture is chosen, Ludo Studios (creators of the show) will turn it into a micro-movie and screen it on TV.

With 176 pages of activities, divided into various topics, there is bound to be something that sparks the imagination of budding artists. Sections are titled: Monsters, Aliens and Space, Robots and Technology, Magic and Fantasy, Dinosaurs, Superheroes and Make Your Own Movie. There are also blank ‘Whatever-You-Like’ pages for freeform drawings.

All pages with the ‘Draw, Snap, Send, Laugh’ icons at the bottom can be uploaded to the website if desired. In and around these drawing activities are plenty of other tasks too. There are find-a-words, join-the-dots, fill-in-the-blanks and spot-the-differences. There are those with a modern flavour, for example tasks requiring kids to use emojis to complete a text message. There are some wonderful creative writing exercises included as well.

The design of the book is fantastic and sure to appeal to the target age group (5–12). The front cover is a collage of real drawings by kids, labelled with their names and ages. The activities, by Daley Pearson, are written in a very kid-friendly voice and are quite funny. For example:

‘Robots need a place to live too! Build a house for this robot to live in … unless you want this robot to be homeless. Wait! Do you want this robot to be homeless?’

The amusing activity prompts are perfectly complementary with the whimsical outlined pictures by Francis Stanton, begging for some colour.

It is not necessary to upload pictures to the website, of course. However, kids of all ages and abilities are encouraged to have a try, with an introductory note reassuring them that ‘there are no good or bad drawings’!


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Atlas of Miniature Adventures

Atlas of Miniature Adventures by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland (Quarto Children’s Books) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9781847809094

Reviewed by Daniela Andrews

‘Big things get a lot of attention’ …

… So this pocket-sized reference book instead sets out to celebrate the ‘mini marvels’ around the world. It features tiny animals and plants, tiny model villages, tiny toys and tiny countries.

The information is presented by continent. Each section opens with a double page, highly illustrative map, featuring small icons to depict the locations of the small wonders unique to the region. The icons are accompanied with some brief, explanatory text. There is a small inset showing the continent’s location on a world globe. Some selected small-scale wonders on the map are presented in more detail in the pages that follow. (Curious readers will no doubt go away and research the others!)

There is an interesting selection of miniature marvels presented in extra detail, such as Berlin’s glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course, South Korea’s tiny teddy bears, San Francisco’s itty-bitty postal service and Australia’s desert goby fish. These double-page spreads always feature two insets – one showing a map with the item location, and another with either a fun fact about the item, or a useful illustration to show the item’s scale.

The book closes with a fun ‘Can You Find?’ section, featuring miniature picture cut-outs and prompting readers to go back through the book to spot them.

Lucy Letherland’s coloured ink, detailed illustrations in this book are fantastic – there is so much to look at on every page. (Even the endpapers are a feast for the eyes!) This is a great educational book for readers aged 7 and up.