BOOK REVIEWS

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Rate: Excellent

Like best: I really enjoyed reading 'The long Journey', it was a surprising and halting read at times, bringing new surprises with every page. My young son really enjoyed the story and the dramatic illustrations, whilst I appreciated the message of the story.

How to improve: All good

Would recommend: Yes

Anything to add: Nope

- Steven Kolber

13/12/21

Brunswick Secondary College

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Rate: Good

Like best: -

How to improve: -

Would recommend: Yes

Anything to add: REVIEW OF THE PICTURE BOOK 'THE LONG JOURNEY' The picture book which was written by Michael Gray Griffiths and illustrated by Leonard Hawco has a disarming warmth and simplicity that shines like a beacon in today's challenging times with global warming and man made animal extinctions. The theme of kindness and caring for our environment and fellow earth dwellers, both human and animal is sensitively conveyed. The succinct directness of the text blends effortlessly with the uncluttered imagery of the illustrations, which visually enrich and further enhance the reading experience. Hawco's success in evoking the characters' emotions only adds another layer of understanding. Gray Griffths and Hawco have collaborated beautifully together. I remember my parents reading Pinnochio to me as a child. My parents took the time to do that. As parents we have the opportunity to guide our off spring from childhood to adulthood, planting seeds of fairness and compassion in our young children. The supportive relationship between the polar bear and seal characters is symbolic of this, especially given that they are not of the same species. The them and us division is prevalent in our divided world at the moment and educating young minds and hearts through books like this can only spark that awareness. The awareness that collective partnership,not speciesism between all beings is crucial to a beneficial co-existence and survival on this planet. The upbeat ending gave me a sense of optimism that this is possible. An inspiring and visually appealing creation that can only add to the reader's growing perspective of the world.

_ Anne Harvey

3/11/21

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BOOK REVIEW ON ‘THE RAT’S HEART – A MELBOURNE LOVE STORY.’ WRITTEN BY Michael Gray Griffith and illustrated by Len Hawco.

 

The Rat’s Heart, written by Michael Gray Griffith and illustrated by Len Hawco, is an excellent read with a universal message relevant for all humanity, at every level.  The heart symbol is at the centre of this story.

 

Like everyone else, I went through COVID lockdowns when restrictions impacted on all our movements and our access to friends and loved ones. This Christmas those walls are going down, but the need to check in with friends during Melbourne’s lockdown was a huge priority, either by phone or via Facebook etc.  People are not islands as they need other people with whom to connect.  Similarly, Lonsdale and Broadway, the two central characters in this book, meet through unexpectedly finding themselves in a difficult situation, with only one way out.  They have to support each other in order to achieve this. The element of magic is represented throughout the book through the presence of the Peregrines. Hawco’s illustrations are well chosen and placed throughout the book and complement the text beautifully. The dialogue is clear and shows each character’s thoughts.

Griffith has shown empathy and insight in giving the human readers the opportunity to accompany the rodents on their adventure within a big city, with its hidden nooks and crannies, where human trash becomes rodents’ treasure and resource.  Thus, the setting of the story is perfect offering us a priceless perspective into a sub-environment and existence otherwise hidden from our eyes.

There are several poignant moments in the plot which highlight the shared compassionate experiences between humans and animals who assist the rodent, Lonsdale, in his quest and journey for redemption, love and hopefully, restoration. These flow effortlessly, with the images enhancing their impact.

Overall, this book will take the reader on a magical, heartfelt journey.

Written by Anne Harvey.

13/12/2021

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A wonderful, unique Christmas Gift. Highly original soulful and richly layered, The Rat's Heart is a perfect read that you and your children will love. This deep and intriguing story with stunning illustrations is suitable for both Adults and Kids. Beautifully written you will want to read it over and over again. "This story takes you into the very gutters of our city streets, searching for that illusive part of us. Humorous, witty, deeply moving but ever hopeful, this beautifully illustrated book takes you from a place where ‘the stars never seemed so far away’ to one well within our reach."~Felicity May"What a delightful modern day fairy-tale with a message of love and hope for all of us, brought a tear to my eye, a thoroughly enjoyable read."~Elizabeth Squires"Delightful modern day fairytale.... loved how it peeked into the current realities as well."~Megan ScottA poignant story full of beautiful prose and delightful images. A story that makes you think about who you are and what could be missing in your life. I loved and savored every page.

~Rohana Hayes

2020

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In the middle of the night, in a dank city alley, a rat awakes. But he believes he is not a rat. He believes he is a man who, for some reason, has lost his heart, and if he doesn’t find it by morning then he will be a rat forever.
But in a bustling city where everyone appears to be already late, where would you find something as small and as insignificant as a rat’s heart?

"This story takes you into the very gutters of our city streets, searching for that illusive part of us perhaps. Humorous, witty, deeply moving but ever hopeful, this beautifully illustrated book takes you from a place where ‘the stars never seemed so far away’ to one well within our reach."


~Felicity May , 2020

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