Kaye Baillie (text) and Max Hamilton (illustrator), When the Waterhole Dries Up, Windy Hollow Books, March 2021, 32 pp., RRP $25.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781922081971
A dusty little boy in the outback is waiting for his bath.
And so are his cheeky animal outback friends.
A crocodile, roo, quoll, emu, dingo, and crocodile all join in the bath time fun.
But how will any of them get clean?
When the Waterhole Dries Up is a carefree look at life in the outback where a love of animals and the great outdoors is essential!
Kaye Baillie takes us on a joyous journey of one little boy who manages to find fun in the most mundane of tasks, along with some very cheeky animals determined to take a bath when their waterhole dries up.
The repetitive text pattern is instantly engaging allowing for young readers to participate in a fun-filled reading time, and the story builds to a splash-filled crescendo that speaks of friendship and fun, with clever use of alliteration making for a great read aloud.
Max Hamilton captures the warm and earthy tones of the outback and will have young readers giggling at the visual antics of all the characters.
There are wonderful opportunities for early educators and librarians to talk and run activities about Australian animals, drought, and the wonder of the vast outback.
Kaye and Max have a respective love of waterholes and Australian flora and fauna, and this shines through beautifully in When the Waterhole Dries Up – sure to become a firm favourite!
Highly Recommended. Great Read Aloud.
Reviewed by Shelley Stephens