Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney

Let me begin with saying – I have had this book for quite a while now ! And it has just come to me why this review has taken so long to complete – it’s because there’s so much in it to explore and contemplate and then to revisit, as well as the fact that I get lost in between the pages for so long, that when I close it, I just feel happy and content – and not very much like writing.

Tania McCartney has filled the pages of this book with all aspects of Australian diversity, including, food, places, people, plants, animals, sport, weather, language, things old, new and delightfully random. The awesomeness, however is that the information and intelligent illustrations are mixed with humour and that each and every page is unique. There is something a little bit left of centre on each page – I love that ! And every time it I read it, I find something new.

This book is like a coffee table book for everyone – not just for kids, although they are the main demographic and will just adore pondering the pages and for that reason I am coining this phrase – a milkshake desk book !! Old and young will both love it and it will also make a great information book for overseas relatives and friends.

Tania McCartney held a virtual launch online for this book and I was lucky enough to have won the book during launch week and also to name this gorgeous character ‘Mabel.’


Just for the record this is what I wrote about Mabel:

‘She is quite a shy girl but reading books make her feel alive on the inside.    One day she wants to write her own books and being quite the quiet type means she is a great observer of all the people she meets – she calls them her characters. She keeps a secret journal where she writes down all her ideas and observations.’

And this was entry I wrote about my favourite Australian quirk:

‘My favourite Australian quirk is ‘Australian friendliness.’ We have the ‘gift of the gab’ in our beautiful country and we will talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time and about any thing ! – and we are pretty much experts on any topic ! It isn’t until you travel overseas and come back that this endearing quality fills your sun-bleached soul and makes you happy that you are home.’

The end papers themselves sum up this book as well as this beautiful country we live in – it is open and expansive and we are free as birds and yet it is distinctively full.

Well done Tania McCartney – you are a creative genius – really !!

Here’s the trailer too !! :



Postscript: Since the release of this book last year Tania McCartney has also released this book:this-is-banjo-paterson


And is no doubt working on her next one………………………..!! Take a look at Tania’s blog – it’s gorgeous:




One thought on “Australia Illustrated by Tania McCartney

  1. Cullen, Robyn A says:


    I really enjoyed reading this post. May I look at the book if you still have it? I think it would be great for EAL students during Term 1 for our focus on Australia.

    Robyn Cullen EAL Coordinator

    Glendal Primary 55 Nottingham Street GLEN WAVERLEY 3150 9803 1330 ________________________________


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