by Alison Lester
We recently read a delightful story by Alison Lester of her native Australia. The story is narrated by Grace as she travels with her family on a three-month road trip around the perimeter of the continent with a several forays inland Eight-year-old Grace balances anecdotes about family interaction with descriptions of landmarks they visit and activities they enjoy.
[What an amazing opportunity! Follow a homeschool family, Live the Adventure, here in the United States doing something very similar.]
Engaging full-page illustrations depict the family listening to singing whales from the cliffs at Head of Bight and hiking around the giant red rock Uluru. Peak at Grace and her siblings hiding behind the Pinnacles that poke up through the sand and view the Bungle Bungles from inside a helicopter. Other highlights include snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, sheep-shearing at some friends’ farm and a picnic as fireworks explode over Sydney harbor.
The story moves quickly and keeps young listeners interested as Lester gives readers an appreciation for the variegated topography and diverse animal population of her homeland. Kids will certainly giggle in recognition at Grace’s younger brother’s familiar refrain, which gives the book its title.
We read this book upon returning home from a short road trip ourselves. Along the drive, my peeps had self-initiated a journal about their experience – what they did, things they saw, etc. We are presently planning a longer road trip to Canada and as we read, the kids remarked about how they would like to create a journal in the same style as Grace. I love it when books spark an interest in my peeps and engage them in extended learning opportunities. Write On!