Day 30. I remember The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek from primary school - not the story, but the illustrations, and the particularly odd composition of the cover. In fact, the whole story is an oddity - it's the only picture book I know where the text is not a simple typeface print. Instead, it has a hand-drawn quality and each page's text is contained in a decorative box. The illustrations are dark and moody, which suits the themes, I think. Poor Bunyip - the story is I guess an allegory for exclusion, but also for finding your tribe (which is the happy ending).
The Bunyip is quite adorable, although as a kid I remember not liking the dark, moodyness of it. As an adult, I'm still a bit tripped out by the images, particularly the one shown where the Bunyip meets a man and seems to be lying on a psychiatrist's couch. Also, there's the bits of trash in the landscape ... and the fact they start small and grow to occupy the page, as if zooming in. There's probably a thesis in the artistic choices and hidden meanings. Anyway, the story isn't too long, and while it's prose, it has nice repetitions of words for younger readers.
Master A's verdict: Happily paid attention to the story, more interested in the pictures once they were full page.
- Title: The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
- Author/Illustrator: Jenny Wagner / Ron Brooks
- Source: Borrowed from local library
- Publisher: Penguin
What's on tomorrow? No idea, but probably another trip to the library.