This is the third book about Noni the Pony by Alison Lester. It is as delightful and entertaining as the previous two books and will be greatly sought after by young readers. Alison keeps her stories simple to complement the age group written for, and it is enjoyable, with a little bit of adventure. She has retained the Australian flavour of this picture book and does this by including Australian animals and language.
The story is simple. Noni is running by the beach with her friends, Coco and Dave. She comes across a sad baby wallaby who has lost his mob. The pony offers to help him find his family, and together they backtrack, asking other animals along the way. The Koala is too sleepy to be much help, while Wombat and Platypus had been playing elsewhere and had not noticed anything. The Emu is too busy minding his chicks, and the Echidna is sleeping. Eventually, the wallaby family are found. They have been out hunting for the missing baby.
This story retains and reflects the love of the sea, and the horses that the author grew up with. The gentle, kindly characters introduce the location and actions of Australian animals with art work that embellishes the story wonderfully, adding well to the text, with the muted colours reflecting the Australian bush accurately. The language used is rhyming but lyrical as well, and the pathos is embedded with Joey saying, “ I was chasing a gum-leaf the north wind had tossed, and when I stopped hopping, I found myself lost.”
Everything in this book is complementary and pleasing. The text size is good, the variety of animals shown maintains interest, and the gentle nature of the story is soothing and friendly. Long live Noni!
|Publisher||A & U Childrens|
|Distributor||A & U Childrens|