Book reviews by Rebecca, National Year of Reading

Featured Book: Lightning Jack

Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard and illustrated Patricia Mullins. Published by Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781741693911.
(A review copy of this book was sent to us by the publisher.)

Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard and Patricia Mullins

Sam Tully dares to ride the midnight horse, Lightning Jack—a stockman’s horse, a flying horse, a daring horse, a dancing horse. On the back of such a horse, magnificent feats are accomplished.

This tale is a modern-day bush ballad. The rhythm of the words keep the story moving along, like the galloping horse and—along with the poetic language—this makes Lightning Jack a fantastic book for reading out loud.

The illustrations feature the colours and scenes of the outback and capture the adventurous spirit of horse and rider. (The imprint page states that the illustrations are ‘created entirely from paper, meticulously blending coloured tissue, Japanese and Indian papers.’ Perhaps you could have a go at creating your own outback scene using torn papers.)

Like many good bush ballads, this tale has an unexpected ending. A great Australian picture book—add this one to your ‘must read’ list!

© March 2012 “Review of Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard & Patricia Mullins” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)
Book reviews by Rebecca

Book Review: Mbobo Tree

Mbobo Tree by Glenda Millard, ill. Annie White. Scholastic Press for Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781741693515

A review copy of this book was sent to us from the publisher.

"Mbobo tree (cover)"

Tiranambo Adesimbo Mbobo is found as a baby, swinging in the branches of the tree on the crest of a hill. Like the tree, the baby belongs to no-one and everyone. She grows up in the village and shares in the dancing and celebrating and mourning but she never speaks. The tree where she was found is a source of joy and life for the village and the animals that live around it. One day the tree is threatened—can Tiranambo Adesimbo Mbobo’s bravery save the village?

This story is told in the style of a folktale or a myth and it includes some wonderful description.

I like this sentence—

They gave her a name that was longer than she was: Tiranambo Adesimbo Mbobo.


Late at night, when the moon was as round and yellow as a cornmeal pancake, Tiranambo Adesimbo Mbobo sat by her window.

The illustrations are in oils on canvas and I love how you can see the texture of the canvas showing through on many of the pages. My favourite pages show Tiranambo Adesimbo Mbobo and the villagers dancing.

This is a good story with a bit of mystery about it. Mbobo Tree is now on the shelf with my favourite picture books.

© July  2011 “Review of Mbobo Tree by Glenda Millard, ill. Annie White”, reviewed by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)