Narelle Oliver writes books I like! Nature study for the very young with engaging text and striking illustrations is almost too much to expect of one book, but with all that, the bonus factor with Oliver’s books is that she is a south-east Queensland local, and this is reflected in her work.
I first encountered her writing and art in “The Best Beak in Boonooroo Bay “, and was smitten. Many different bird species are introduced and the special features of each are highlighted and shown to serve the individual’s needs.
In “The Hunt”, she details the progress of a mother owl hunting for food for her owlets. Several small animals and insects elude the owl, as they are shown in their natural habitat in this most perfect introduction to the concept of camouflage.
“High Above the Sea” is the story of a male osprey hunting for food to bring back to his mate on the nest. Included in the story are:
- Where osprey nest
- Other fauna abiding in the vicinity and what they eat, including a honey eater, lace monitor, curlew, pied oystercatcher, sea dragon and hermit crab
- How the osprey hunts and what it eats
Each page is lavishly illustrated with watercoloured lino cuts, and the author has included a fact page on osprey at the end of the story, as well as a summary of the techniques and history of lino cut print making in Australia.
In their own right these are beautiful books worth owning, but if you happen to be a resident of the sunshine state, they have the added appeal of being about your local flora and fauna.