For those who know me well, I am a bit obsessed with Tasmanian tigers, or Thylacines. They are my home state's emblem and also our equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster, except that these amazing creatures actually existed, or for many, still exist.
Aleesah Darlison and Shane McGrath's new book, Stripes In The Forest (Big Sky Publishing, HC ISBN: 9781925275704, 2016) is a strong story that travels with the mythical Tasmanian tiger, teaching us through story about the demise and threatened existence of these once feared creatures.
The beautiful illustrations depict the tigers in an accurate but simplistic way, capturing their movement and their stance in a very believable style. McGrath has certainly caught the essence of these creatures and the illustrations stand well with the text in bringing different aspects of the story to us.
Darlison uses powerful text that doesn't shy away from the truth. She uses it with creativity, presenting a sad story in a way that offers hope, telling the story from the perspective of the thylacine and her journey to escape danger and to survive humanity. Her research is demonstrated in her story telling as well as in the interesting facts that feature at the end of the story.
I love stories that end with hope and this book offers that. With an opportunity to review our past mistakes and to cause us to reconsider our present day decisions, books like this will empower younger readers to become adults with a caring and informed discernment of our environment.
With National Threatened Species day being held annually on September the 7th, which is the day we commemorate the death of the last known thylacine in captivity and possibly the wild, this book will not only be a wonderful educational tool, but a story that we can revisit to remind ourselves about this amazing creature and the story it carries with it.
I recommend it is one that lives on your bookshelf.
'I am the last of my kind. Or am I?'
(Reviewers note/confession: As a reviewer I need to be impartial and honest about the books I present to my readers. In the Australian Children's and YA publishing industry, most creators know each other and sometimes we know each other quite well. Often we review books created by our friends and peers (this is hard to avoid) and I endeavour to maintain a professional approach to this task. My opinions of this book and others I review are not because of friendships but from a genuine response to great literature for children.)
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