Pat Clarke (text), Graeme Compton (illus.), Elvira and the Pilliga Mouse, Little Steps Books, Dec 2016, 76pp., $24.95 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925117981
There is a slightly old-world feel to this book which is presented like a hardback picture book but is actually a junior novel with colour illustrations. It features the animals of the Pilliga Forest – the author lives in the neighboring Goonoo Forest – and would make a good jumping off point for studying native fauna in the classroom.
The story is based around a wedge-tailed eagle, Elvira, who lives at Taronga Zoo but gets lost during a storm. She winds up in the Blue Mountains and sets out on a journey to find her father Elvis on the way back to the zoo. Elvira meets many creatures on her adventure including the Pilliga Mouse of the title, another eagle called Byron and a boy called Tom.
The author has written several animal-themed books for children and they are all lovingly illustrated by Narrambi artist Graeme Compton. The books have been created with advice from the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Baradine, New South Wales. There is a glossary of animals at the end of the book for children to learn a little of the species status and diet.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher
- Read Katie Mineeff’s review of Elvira and the Pilliga Mouse