We finally returned to our book hop around the world and visited Australia with another book from Adventures of Riley series by Amanda Lurvy and Laura Hurwitz – Outback Odyssey. While this book is too long and detailed for young children, it’s perfect for Anna who loves long picture books which combine a good fictional story and non-fiction facts. I also like that these books focus on endangered species and efforts to preserve them.
Ready to Dream by Donna Jo Napoli is more appropriate for younger children. We read it during our previous pass over Australia, and now I got it mostly because of illustrations by Bronwyn Bancroft. They are made in traditional aboriginal style, and the story is about a young artist learning a new way to draw and to dream. This book also gives enough introduction to Australian animals and landscape for younger readers.
Amazingly, we even managed to do an art project. Ironically, I had to cajole daughter to join me for some “artsy time”, but once she got into it, she actually enjoyed painting and adding details for a good hour, which is really long for her when it comes to art. I chose stones as a canvas – it was one of the choices in Ready to Dream as well.
Another canvas in Ready to Dream was forearms. Anna went for her hands instead and painted them beautiful and powerful brown. It’s funny how quickly she went from carefully wiping her hands on the napkin when even a drop of paint fell on them to this. Luckily, it was a washable poster paint, and it was nothing in comparison to blackberry stains that she got on her T-shirt during lunch.
You can guess who went with aboriginal art theme and who decided to create a beautiful stripe pinky butterfly family who leaves in a butterfly palace instead. We both had fun though, and this is what really matters