Kat Mcleod, The Tiny Explorers, Thames & Hudson, August 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760761158
Four small people who are quite tiny set off to explore the garden looking for treasure. Following a silvery trail, they move through, past, under, around, between, over and into various plants and places, collecting items as they go. Some of these are named in the text and some are shown in the pictures but at the end, the readers are invited to look for all the treasures at the party.
The illustrations are in beautiful colours and are created in mixed media, including collage and pencil. Kat Macleod is an exhibiting artist who has also designed stationery and homewares. Her clients have included Tiffany & Co, the Australian Ballet and Heide Museum of Modern Art. She released a series of board books earlier in 2021 but this is her first picture book.
She was inspired during lockdown in Melbourne last year by watching her young sons go exploring in their backyard and the book is dedicated to them. The use of some repetition in the text combined with different prepositions which are not repeated introduces these concepts to the young listener and there is much to discover in the illustrations.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage