teachers' resources

Book review: The Great Expedition by Peter Carnavas

The Great Expedition, written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas, New Frontier Publishing, ISBN 9781921042812

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Great Expedition (cover)This story is loosely based on the expedition of explorers Burke and Wills. In The Great Expedition, the exploring party is assembled—with a leader, a navigator, a botanist, a biologist and an animal handler (to keep the dog under control). The group of young explorers needs to get a parcel safely to its destination. They set off in high spirits but soon run into all sorts of trouble … and then disaster strikes.

Although they are exhausted by their journey, obviously this adventure is not as arduous as the one Burke and Wills faced (plus, this journey has a happy ending!). This is a great picture book for kids learning about explorers—learning what happens on an expedition, and the roles of the people involved. At the end of the book there is a little about Burke and Wills, too.

Younger kids will enjoy the story as it is, older kids will appreciate the humour behind the kids’ expedition mirroring a real one. And everyone will love the quirky illustrations (look out for the dog in the endpapers!).

A fun adventure, and a springboard for learning about the great explorers of history.

© October 2011 “Review of The Great Expedition by Peter Carnavas”, reviewed by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

2 thoughts on “Book review: The Great Expedition by Peter Carnavas”

  1. This book is absolutely up there with my favourites. Teaching Australian History took up a huge part of my load in my first year of secondary teaching. I’ve got a soft spot for it, and I love that the topic of Burke and Wills becomes accessible to young readers.

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