Tag Archives: Australian culture

Happy Specky-versary!

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Following up on my review of Specky’s 20th anniversary edition – as the actual birthday is today – it was timely to kick off the 2022 footy season with not only a display to feature everyone’s favourite young AFL player, but the code itself. And of course, an opportunity to have a ‘win’ incentive to encourage the borrowers in my new library!. Thanks Felice Arena & Garry Lyon, for bringing us all such a great character, who just never gets old! and also thanks, to one of my new specky-tacular library assistants, Gretchen, who kindly brought in her son’s AFL jersey collection to add to our display!

Mr. Men [Little Miss] in Australia – Roger Hargreaves

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Penguin Australia

  • November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781761044342
  • Imprint: Mr Men
  • RRP: $16.99

These characters are so enduring and still so well-loved fifty years after their creation, that this book will make a fun addition to your collection and, indeed, to your classroom unit on Australia, if you are building up a solid title list for that purpose.

The gang is heading down-under or according to Mr Topsy Turvy puts it ‘up over’ and each has a different take on what they want to put on their ‘must see/do’ list. Little Miss Somersault is definitely up to the challenge of planning their itinerary though.

Whether it’s climbing the Harbour Bridge – which is just the ticket for Mr Tall, though not so much for Mr Jelly! – watching the cricket at the Adelaide Oval, checking out the wildlife in Tasmania or riding the Indian Pacific, this is a terrific virtual trip around our great country for any reader.

My single slight criticism is that if you are going to talk about Bondi Beach and life guards, the illustration should be accurate (albeit I know the life saver was rescuing Mr Wrong!). Our life guards are so iconic and famous around the world I can’t imagine why anyone would draw them with blue shirts!!! (The Kid has just gained her red-and-yellows at our local club – and we are fiercely proud of her achievement).

Aside from that this a terrific addition to your library or classroom and I highly recommend it to you.

Girls Change the Game – Gabrielle Gloury/Michael Hyde

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Ford St Publishing

April 2020

ISBN: 9781925804492

RRP: $14.99

Although the women’s version of Aussie Rules has been around since the early 20th century with regular competitions and state leagues being established over the years it wasn’t until 2017 that women’s AFL first became professionalised at a national level. Now with more 2 million viewers/followers, the game has been growing in leaps and bounds attracting much attention both nationally and worldwide.

Ok, I admit it. I grew up in Sydney, right in the middle of Dragons territory back in our club’s glory days. My friends and I played regular games of footy before school and at break times (I still have a scar on my knee from a tackle gone wrong one dewy morning!). So really, I didn’t even know AFL existed until I was an adult. Truthfully, I still don’t completely ‘get it’, however, I can very much appreciate the athleticism and skill of the women who play it. Certainly, it is very exciting to see now the focus on these sporting stars and the dedicated following they have garnered.

What better way then to encourage young girls to take up the game than a fun book with a twist! Kids love ‘choose your own ending’ books, that’s a given. Throw into that mix the excitement of a new club taking up their first serious challenge against a very competitive team and you’ve got a winner in all senses. The narrative has a quick pace and is an accessible read for even those students who are not strong readers and even those who are not die-hard footy fans will find the format appealing. With eight different possible endings, it’s a book to which kids can return over and over.

I give this book a high recommendation for kids from around Year 4 upwards, whether fans of the game or not, indeed whether they are fans of sport or not! A good fun read which they will find hugely enjoyable all round.