BOOK REVIEW: Charlie Burr and the Three Stolen Dollars (Sally Morgan, Ambelin, Blaze & Ezekiel Kwaymullina, illus by Peter Sheehan, Little Hare Books)

Sally Morgan and her children Ambelin, Blaze and Ezekiel drew on their own childhood experiences to create this brand new series for younger readers. Set in the Australian outback, the series follows its narrator, Charlie Burr, on his accidental adventures in the bush. The first adventure involves three stolen dollars, some missing gold, a twohumped camel and a naughty little dingo pup: Charlie isn’t sure how he’s going to explain the missing money and the new pup to his mum and things seem to go from bad to worse. This is a lively and entertaining book. Spike the dingo is a perfect companion to the mischievous Charlie, as is Rosy the two-humped camel to his friend Johnno. Despite its distinctly outback setting, Charlie Burr will ring true to any child who has ever done something that they know is going to land them in hot water with Mum. Charlie’s dad is a loveable larrikin who tries to keep the peace but, like Charlie, ends up in even more trouble. The outback setting is perfect for the high-spirited exploits of Charlie and his friends, which will ignite the imaginations of its readers.

Bec Kavanagh is a freelance reviewer and writer and former bookseller living in Melbourne. This review first appeared in the April issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.