Australia: Country of Colour by Jess Racklyeft

Review | Jul 2023

Our Rating
Author: Jess Racklyeft

Category: Children's, Teenage & educational

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Affirm Kids

ISBN: 9781922863881

RRP: $29.99

Jess Racklyeft is an Australian illustrator and author of many children’s picture books. Outside of illustrating for books she creates wonderful paintings, prints and even stationery.

In this book, Jess introduces and helps us think about colour that is all around us. She uses Australia with all its diverse and colourful flora and fauna to show the colours of the rainbow and more.

Each colour is introduced by a landscape, from Kunama Namadgi (Mount Kosciusko) to Kati Chanda (Lake Eyre) to Purnululu National Park.

Beginning with red and pink we see the wonderfully vivid colour of Uluru and we learn how these colours can help plants attract pollinators but also be a warning, like the spindly Redback Spider.

As we travel through the colours from yellow, green, blue, violet and purple to black white and greys, we are then introduced to 24 animals or plants that are some variation of the main colour.

We meet the giant Gippsland Earthworm, the Little Red Kaluta and the Sturt’s Dessert Pea. Don’t miss the Mount Kaputar Pink Slug! We move on to brown and orange where we see the colours of the earth and learn about the Copper Jewel Butterfly and the shy Numbat. Green introduces us to the Green Ringtail Possum (that was a new one on me). There is the purple-necked Rock Wallaby and, under black, white and grey, there is the slippery Bandy-Bandy (also known as hoop snakes).

There is much to this clever book. Jess is not only showing colour, but introducing to also feeling it. From the calming blue, to the passion, love and anger of red, and the joyful feeling of yellow. She encourages us to look around our own world and see the colour, look into it deeply and understand how it makes us feel. Along the way we learn so much about Australia’s incredible plants and animals.

A really terrific introduction for kids for how to see the world around them and take inspiration from it.

Reviewed by Jane Stephens








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