MORGAN, Sally & Ezekiel Kwaymullina (text) Craig Smith (illus.) Going Bush with Grandpa Omnibus, 2014 55pp $9.99 pbk ISBN 9781742990262 SCIS 1641854
Little Pete relishes the prospect of a school vacation camping trip with Grandpa, heading out in the LandCruiser for a few days of gold prospecting with the metal detector. His excitement and affection for his Grandpa is palpable as he relates novel camping experiences, such as Grandpa’s bush cooking, his fireside crooning and reminisences about his youth. However, the greatest excitement lies in the chance of finding gold nuggets, the little fellow spurred on by Grandpa’s anecdotes about past discoveries. It is hard work but the appliance tantalizes them on each day with its beep beep beep, unearthed drink cans and old horse brass notwithstanding. As in any good bush yarn, luck comes when they least expect it. What Pete decides to do with his share of their little fortune cements the appeal of the story as a celebration of familial love and affection.
Going Bush with Grandpa is a transitional novel for young independent readers. Each spread is generously illustrated with delightful pictures depicting the narrative highlights in Pete’s camping adventure. The first person text is widely spaced and wrapped around the pictures to encourage emerging readers.
reviewed by Kevin Steinberger