Tag Archives: Australian life

Dorrie – Tania McCartney

Standard

Harper Collins Australia

February 2023

  • ISBN: 9781460760109
  • ISBN 10: 1460760107
  • Imprint: HarperCollins AU/Angus & Robertson
  • List Price: 24.99 AUD

Well you know my high opinion of the hugely talented Tania McCartney with her stylish flair for presenting her young readers with inspirational and engaging narratives, which also incorporate factual tidbits of the most fascinating kind. I grew up reading Blinky Bill along with all the time-honoured Australian classics, but, to be honest, I’ve never known much about Dorothy Wall. Certainly, for example, not that her family called her Dorrie nor that she was such a keen creative in other ways beyond her writing and illustrating.

There is no doubt in my mind that Blinky Bill remains a great favourite with young readers, thanks to new interpretations, and of course the animated TV show, despite the age of the original stories. And, following on from that, in my experience, children love to find out more about real people so I am quite certain that your littles will delight in this charming account of Dorrie’s life – which was itself rather sad in many ways.

Tania’s skill in bringing her subjects to life is absolutely superlative, both in her writing and her illustrations. In this new addition to her already outstanding portfolio, I particularly love the colour palette Tania has chosen throughout, which subtly echoes the colours of the Australian landscape, along with embellishments of flora and fauna….. and also the cunning way she has inserted anachronistic icons into backgrounds to ensure that, despite Dorrie’s story being in a different time period, the location of the setting is unmistakable. (The insertion of the Blinky Bill commemorative stamp is also a gorgeous addition!) And how utterly fitting for the final full page illustration to be that of Blinky’s story proudly displayed at Angus & Robertson’s Sydney bookstore (when I was growing up in Sydney A&R was synonymous with books and most of my birthday and Christmas books were purchased there!), given that it was that well-known publishing house who first brought Blinky to his reading audience.

Those among you who fell in love with Mamie will equally embrace with joy this new addition to Tania’s catalogue of exquisite picture books.As always, I cannot recommend this highly enough – Tania’s work has my heart always. I am looking forward to a relief day with small peeps next week to share this, and also to seeing how many ‘Dorrie’s appear in 2023 Book Week Parades *grin*. Rush out and buy your copy now!

I put together a few simple activities with curriculum links to accompany Dorrie, for Tania. You can check them out here, and they are also linked on her blog here.

RIP Dorothy Wall