Leaving the Lyrebird Forest – Gary Crew. Illustrated by Julian Laffan.




Imprint: Lothian Children’s Books

September 2018



Gary Crew has created a narrative which is not only redolent of the quintessential Australian bush life – which is now mostly disappeared from our landscape – but also encourages the reader to think about the future for both humans and wildlife.

Are you lonely here?’ her mother asked. 
‘Never,’ Alice said. ‘Not while I am friends with the lyrebird.’

Alice has lived her entire life with her artistic parents in a small but quirky house on the outskirts of town. Apart from school she has little contact with other people but that doesn’t concern her. Alice’s best friend is the lyrebird that comes to visit her every other day. When she gets to know her hermit-like neighbour Mr Brown, recently widowed, she discovers that they both share this friendship with the cheeky bird. She also discovers that she and Mr Brown also share a deep and abiding love of the pristine bush and both are determined to preserve it – and the haunt and habitat of the beautiful wildlife therein.

Everything is changing. Alice is getting older and knows that eventually she will have to leave the bush and her home to complete her education but her concern over the splendours of her surrounds drive her decisions about her future. Together with Mr Brown she is able to set in motion a train of events that may possibly save this corner of paradise for the future.

This is a story with overtones of a time gone by which are enhanced by the delightful woodcut illustrations by Julian Laffan. The reader will have much to think about and certainly much to inspire their own aspirations.

Highly recommended for readers from about ten years upwards.



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