I\’m always on the look out for good narrative non-fiction books for children. I really like some of the Australian Natural History picture books that are available now that combine factual content within a story. I’ve previously written about one of these books, ‘Emu‘ written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne, that is very good. The same author and illustrator have collaborated in Big Red Kangaroo.
The illustrations in this book are large and were created with charcoal and digital media, capturing the dry, hostile beauty of inland Australia. The narrative storyline is accompanied by a section in italics on the opposite page that gives more information in factual form. The book was published in 2013 and has 29 fully illustrated pages. Recommended for Primary School aged children but an interested younger child would enjoy it, too.
Another book about Australian native animals by author Claire Saxby is Dingo. This book is illustrated by Tannya Harricks and though at first I wasn’t that enamoured with her style, it grew on me as I looked at it more closely. The illustrations were created with oil paint in loose, broad brush strokes. This gives Dingo a very different feel to the Big Red Kangaroo. It has a lighter, softer background and the storyline is simpler with less narrative and larger writing.