Thursday 20 February 2014

Thursday 20th February

Riley and the Grumpy Wombat, a journey around Melbourne

Author: Tanya McCartney
Illustrated by: Keiron Pratt
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Year of publications: 2011
Hard cover

Readership. Primary school age
Main characters: Riley, a wombat and several tagalongs

An odd book. Ostensibly it is a tourist guide to Melbourne disguised as an adventure for a child with an aeroplane and other gadgets and a motley assortment of pets. It is a puzzle why sovereign hill, great ocean road and the snowfields even feature as they are not Melbourne? I am not really sure what this book was supposed to do or be? It appears to be part of a series. I did not understand the relevance to the story of the mud villa at the end?
The prose does not flow particularly well. The story does not seem to have a clear middle or end or even a decisive beginning. 
The illustrations are a mixture of bold coloured drawings over black and white photographs of Melbourne (Australia) and various Victorian locations. The art work is quite lively and bright. The black and white photos juxtaposed against the strong primary colours does not work for me.

I was left feeling puzzled at the purpose of this book or how the extra characters fitted in or where the motivation for the wombat being angry came from.
 I would suggest a borrow from the library if there is an interest in some of the sights of Melbourne in black and white.  

I went and researched this character to find out more in an attempt to understand where the characters motivations come from. On  the author, Tania McCartney's website there is much more information about her many books and activities and includes this description.
Who is Riley?
"Riley is a kid just like you! He loves to travel, and flies in his little red plane all over the world. Where will he adventure to next?" The other adventures of Riley show where he picks up his companions and showcase other parts of the world in a similar fashion to this book,

Tania is an author, editor, reviewer and traveler and artist and has some wonderful non fiction books including 'An Aussie Year' which I already reviewed in a much more favourable light. 

I just discovered about three seconds ago that she is the woman running the 52 Week challenge. I am glad I did further research to see she has some wonderful work available.

Today's art (week 8 Crosshatch) is a sunset or maybe a sunrise I had attempted in water colours but retried with crosshatch. I am putting both for comparison.

I think this might be a work in progress.  I prefer the cross hatch version to the water colour but it was my first water colour so I will stick to that excuse.Building up the shades with various colours in the cross hatching produced an interesting affect.

I have some scratched out ideas for today's PB draft and need to go work on it some more.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my chatter and look at my pictures. I hope you found something to brighten your day. <3