Tag Archives: Jackie Kerin

The Amazing Case of Dr Ward – Jackie Kerin/Tull Suwannakit

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March 2021

Ford St Publishing

RRP: $16.99

ISBN: 9781925804706

When a true life story can be brought to life in an engaging picture book it’s a real bonus and this particular book has so many applications for rich discussion and learning experiences; science, HASS, innovation, and invention. Hands up all those who have had a terrarium in their home – or made them with children….yep, me too. And yet, I had never heard of the man who conceived of this amazing way of growing plants. Nathaniel Ward was fascinated with growing plants, particularly unusual ones and was determined to both see and grow the exotic plants that voyagers in the 19th century were seeing and attempting to bring back to England. The long sea journeys, weather and vermin made is almost impossible for healthy specimens to arrive intact and through a chance discovery, Ward saw that plants can grow in a sealed glass container successfully for indefinite periods of time.

Dr Ward’s curiosity and innovation enabled the transport of many of the plants – both decorative and useful – to other shores and while, with hindsight, we have come to understand that some of those introduced to Australia have been a disaster for our native habitats, there is also no doubt that the production of fruit and other crops has been an important part of our agricultural landscape and economy.

Most intriguing of all is the concept of simple wondering and experimentation that lead to something now so commonplace that we accept its presence without question, and it is this, in my opinion, that your young readers will connect with the most. Reading this even to your upper primary children will provoke so many learning opportunities and I highly recommend it for your kiddos from around six years upwards.

Gold! – Jackie Kerin & Annie White

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Ford St Publishing

September 2020

  • ISBN10 1925804534
  • ISBN13 9781925804539
  • RRP: $24.99

What a brilliant combination! A lively rhythmic text, absolutely stunning illustrations paired with historical information about the Victorian gold-rush all of which will stimulate readers’ interest and imagination. For those with the ubiquitous Gold in Australia unit of work this is a magnificent springboard into your investigations and will pique your students’ interest in the topic.

Author Jackie Kerin has a background in acting and storytelling and truly this is evident in the text which crackles with enthusiastic and animated expression. The blend of prose and verse style and plenty of figurative language will add to the learning to be gained from this book with true enjoyment to be had along the way.

Annie White‘s illustrations have long gained accolades and I suggest you visit her webpage for some fascinating insights into her work. Her work for this particular vividly echoes the wonderful text and readers will delight in the detail to be found within.

The book concludes with some useful fact boxes which will easily segue into further inquiry and all in all this is a splendid addition to any collection.

Highly recommended for readers from around Year 4 upwards.