Rhian Williams (text) and Nathaniel Eckstrom (illustrator), Ten Little Figs, Walker Books Australia, March 2020, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781921977312
Australian backyard wildlife are the stars of this brightly effective counting book for early readers. Ten little figs are on my tree. I love figs and they’re all for me, chants a little boy in the opening couplet, eager to harvest the crop from his family ‘sandpiper fig’. But first a flying fox, spider then finch make off with the precious fruits one by one. Readers will find much more detail than Eckstrom’s (previously illustrated ‘DUCK!’ written by Meg McKinlay) simple digital illustrations might at first suggest. Find a snout, a prickle, a flutter of leaves and seek who is concealed within the garden. Readers get an introduction to native species as they search the bushes, grasses and branches with the boy and his dog for who will be next on the scene. A pleasing sing-song rhyme to the text makes it flow easily off the tongue and a delight to read out loud.
Reviewed by Liz Anelli