Going Bush with Grandpa written by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina & Illustrated by Craig Smith
Published by Scholastic Australia
Pete’s Grandpa, (also named Pete) loves to go prospecting for gold with his super-duper metal detector and his loyal dog Ace. This time, Pete is going with him. Pete’s parent joke that they want to take a holiday, so Grandpa and Pete better find some gold on their trip.
They travel along a dirt road and set up camp. Grandpa tells Pete to keep his swag rolled up till bedtime, just in case any snakes find their way in.
They settle in and Grandpa pulls out his speciality for dinner. Tinned beef curry. He makes some damper and cooks it in the coals of the fire. Pete loves sitting eating dinner under the stars and Grandpa tells him how his uncle took him to corroborees as a kid. They ate food just like Grandpa had made and danced the night way.
The next day they begin their prospecting and Pete is so excited when the metal detector beeps. Only to find it’s just an old tin can. Grandpa is upset by the amount of junk people leave in the bush, but they press on.
A couple more days they keep on their quest, with Grandpa cooking his speciality each night, and teaching Pete that sometimes luck doesn't come straight away, you have to be patient. He also teaches Pete not to bother the Python that seems to have joined their camp.
The next day, Pete finds an old Horse Brass, which jogs Grandpa’s memory and he tells Pete of the days when he was a drover.
On their final day, they pack up camp and Grandpa makes sure the camp fire is properly put out. He asks Pete where he would like to go on their last prospect. Pete points to a gully, and low and behold, their luck finally comes in.
They find a big nugget, and Grandpa decides he will take that trip after all. When Grandpa questions what Pete will do with his share, Pete is so excited. He decides that he and his mum and dad should go on that trip too.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Grandpa is a hilarious character with so much spunk. I loved how he managed to weave in some great teaching moments with Pete, just by the things that he says and does along their trip. Pete’s youthful innocence and acceptance of his Grandpa’s ways made this a delightful read.
This story had such humour and heart, all rolled into one and I think it would make a great addition to any school classroom, especially for a reluctant boy reader. The pencil illustrations add such fun to this great little chapter book. We also learn a universal truth that the indigenous people of Australia hold true to. That land should be cared for and that all living creatures have a right to their home.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Illustrator: Craig Smith
Title: Going Bush with Grandpa
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: February 2014