Janeen Brian (text) and Danny Snell (illustrator), Aussie Kids: Meet Mia by the Jetty, Puffin Books, July 2020, 64 pp., RRP $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760893668
Welcome to South Australia! In this book we are introduced to the affable main character, Mia. Immediately we are immersed in the beautiful place Mia calls home; Victor Harbor. There is something different on the horizon though for Mia and her big sister Alice, as their mum announces a weekend guest is due to stay with them, and it is a boy, a real boy too – Jim!
Much to her sister’s displeasure, Mia is on a mission to share the delights of South Australia with Jim as a ‘super tour guide’. Mia’s plan also stems from her determination to ensure she is not bossed around by her big sister Alice, who ‘thinks she’s the boss of everyone’. Alice does show a subtle liking to the male guest; and does not want Mia getting all the attention! Will her newfound ‘puppy love’ spoil Mia’s plan?
As we follow Jim’s ‘tourist’ journey in the very capable hands of Mia; our dedicated tour guide does have to put up with the unpleasantness of her big sister’s comments and lack of enthusiasm; will there be any reprieve?
Exploring more than just the unique beauty South Australia has to offer; this story is super relatable, delving into the politics of sister sibling relationships, whilst touching on elements of “tween-ness”.
This junior fiction series is perfect for the emerging reader aged 6-8 years.
This is the second book I have read in this Aussie Kids Series; and it certainly feels like I am sharing Australian travel in the comfort of my own home. Without a doubt this series will likely spark enthusiasm from young readers to one day visit different parts of the nation, as they acknowledge and appreciate the beauty of the country, they call home; Australia.
Reviewed by Sonia Bestulic