Johanna Bell (text), Dion Beasley (illus), Go Home, Cheeky Animals!, Allen & Unwin, May 2016, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760291655
‘At Canteen Creek, where we live’, there are many cheeky dogs. No one does anything about the dogs because they are supposed to keep the wild goats, donkeys, horses, buffaloes and camels away. Of course they don’t. And this provides Dion Beasley and Johana Bell with opportunities to make madly inspired funny colour pencil drawings of these pestiferous creatures invading Canteen Creek in droves between wet seasons. The text is large and bright, embedded in the sweep of the drawings that sometimes go over two pages.
This is a delightful book, and one that would be a favourite right across the top of Australia where there are many communities that know what it’s like to have too many cheeky dogs, and a countryside riddled with introduced species in plague numbers. Other more urban children might see this as a fantasy book, or they might become curious about the communities that live out in the great outback of Australia. Recommended for fun lovers 4 to 44 years old.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy